A Film About Hanneli Goslar – And Her Friend, Anne Frank.


Photo Courtesy of: Google Images

My Best Friend Anne Frank Poster

Emma Bennett, Journalist

My Best Friend Anne Frank is a new Dutch movie out on Netflix. It tells the story of Hanneli (Hannah) Goslar, who was a close childhood friend of famous diarist Anne Frank. The film follows their lives as Jews in Amsterdam during World War II.

 Goslar encountered  Frank during their times in concentration camps. Frank was in a different part of the camp where the conditions were more dire, and there was a wall separating the two.  Goslar brought  Frank food over the wall and the film centers around this encounter. 

When describing the encounter,Goslar has said, “I was shivering in darkness when I suddenly heard a voice; ‘Lies, Lies where are you?’ It was Anne, and I ran in the direction of the voice, and then I saw her beyond the barbed wire. She was in rags. I saw her emaciated, sunken face in the darkness. Her eyes were very large. We cried and cried, for now there was only the barbed wire between us, nothing more. And no longer any difference in our fates.

The real Anne Frank (left) and Hanneli Goslar (right) (Photo Courtesy of: Google Images)

The film flashes back and forth between the girls time together in the city before they were taken away by the Nazis and Hanneli’s time in the concentration camp. They experience the ups and downs of growing up, family trouble and men, all while being discriminated against in the worst ways in history.

Nicolas Rapold of the New York times writes, “The film wants to spotlight a story of friendship and childhood innocence during the Holocaust. Mischief-making Anne (Aiko Beemsterboer) delights and frustrates her loyal pal, Hannah (Josephine Arendsen), who feels left out as other girls (and boys) enter the picture.”

The film is tragic but also lighthearted. The girl’s go through typical girl things, they play and have fun experiences. A light is shone in these girls that shows that they are not defined by tragedy. They are defined by their mistakes, their humor and their youth. At times, it feels like a coming-of-age film. 

Hanneli Goslar (Josephine Arendsen) and Anne Frank (Aiko Beemsterboer)at the park in My Best Friend Anne Frank.
(Photo Courtesy of: Google Images)

Lara Glennon of Hollywood Insider writes, Kids will be kids, they’ll play catch with friends, tease each other about school crushes, and dream about the future. This is constant, we see it portrayed beautifully in Ben Sambogaart’s newest film…The difference is, Sombogaart depicts the loss of innocence, the way innocence is broken and chipped away at.”

My Best Friend Anne Frank is a heartfelt, and tragic film.  It is a film that reminds one of humanity amongst tragedy.