“My Best Friend Anne Frank”: An exploration of friendship


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“My Best Friend Anne Frank,” is a movie based on the story of Anne Frank and Hannah Goslar. Aiko Beemsterboer plays Anne Frank and Josephine Arendsen plays Hannah Goslar. The film explores the feeling of friendship and the woes of war.

Adolf Hitler was targeting Jews in 1942 Amsterdam and they were in danger of being sent to concentration camps if caught by Nazis. This film heads straight to the center of the drama, highlighting the challenges of war and famine during this time.

The constant sexual references in the film point to queer undertones. Anne questions whether Hannah has kissed Alfred, a boy she (Hannah) likes. The queer underones are shown through the gesturing of Anne during the scene, in which she bites her fingers and sticks her tongue out towards Hannah.

The Star of David is evident on the clothing of Anne and Hannah, highlighting the horror of war amidst the bliss of female friendship. While Anne and Hannah may be young and free, they are living during a time of great strife for themselves as Jews.

The film often switches from colorful scenes to very dark scenes, highlighting the illnesses experienced by Anne and Hannah, who both get sick at the concentration camps.

In the film, Hannah Goslar was sent to an exchange camp. The exchange camp housed Jewish prisoners who would be exchanged for German prisoners of war overseas. The camps were dirty, rotten and smelly. Hannah Goslar struggles to make any friends at the camp, as the Jews there come from different backgrounds.

Anne is spritely in the film, often making jokes about the war. There is a scene where Hannah must return a library book at her father’s request. Hannah does not know why she has to return it, so Anne jokes that the book owners may have been traitors. Hannah seems more serious than Anne about the entire situation, but these conversations occur in the past, before Hannah goes to the exchange camp.

An uncomfortable scene in the film is where Hannah is the third wheel on Anne’s date. (Anne drags her along, but it’s uncomfortable nonetheless). Anne is considered the more attractive one, and we can see Hannah try to calm herself down while Anne and her boyfriend talk to each other.

Often, Hannah is dependent on Anne. Hannah’s parents do not appreciate the friendship because they believe Anne is a bad influence. However, this friendship does teach the valuable lesson of treasuring your friends because Anne and Hannah are living in tumultuous times.

We must not forget that in the midst of this teenage drama, there is still a war. The Gestapo were the “Nazi police.” They would go to the Jews’ houses to take them to concentration camps. The Gestapo enter into Hannah’s home and claim something has been hidden. They do not find anything, but they manage to press on Hannah’s mother’s pregnant belly to “prove” she is pregnant and spit in Hannah’s father’s face.

The ending is saddening, as Anne and Hannah reunite at the concentration camp. Anne’s hair has been cut short and she looks corpse-like. Hannah and Anne are forced apart as Hannah is freed from the exchange camp. All in all, it is a sad and beautiful film about the importance of treasuring friendship, even in the midst of war.

“My Best Friend Anne Frank” is available on Netflix.