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05 January 2009 @ 07:43 pm
BBC unveils Anne Frank the sexual teenager  
"ANNE FRANK is to be portrayed as a stroppy teenager undergoing her sexual awakening in a new television adaptation of her wartime diary.

In the drama to be shown this week, Anne, a Jewish victim of the Nazis, is shown having her first experience of love, kissing a boy with whom she is hiding from the Nazis.

The portrayal is a deliberate attempt to make Anne a more rounded character than in previous versions that have shown her more as a child martyr and symbol of Jewish suffering.

“I’ve not made her the sanctified Anne as she has been portrayed before,” said Deborah Moggach, the screenwriter and novelist. “Nor is she the voice of 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. Again she’s been portrayed as that before.”

Moggach is the first writer of an adaptation to have permission to use Anne’s own words and also to have had full access to passages of the diaries previously excised by the family.

“I’ve made her a very sexual young woman whose hormones are all over the place,” said Moggach, who wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice and her novel Tulip Fever.

Anne began her diary in 1942 when she was 13 and her family moved into hidden rooms in a house in Amsterdam. She wrote for two years until they were discovered. She died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Moggach has elaborated the diary version of Anne’s relationship with Peter van Pels, who was two years older than Anne.

The BBC version, which runs in half-hour episodes from Monday to Friday, shows the relationship, at first frosty, growing into infatuation and possibly love. “Here were two teenagers stuck in one house for two years with no idea that they might survive,” said Moggach. “It’s not surprising they fell for each other.”

Anne, played by Ellie Kendrick, is shown “thinking about him all the time” and talking about his lovely blue eyes as they kiss and cuddle.

The dramatisation also builds on Anne’s awkward relationships with Edith, her mother, and Margot, her elder sister.

In one scene Anne’s mother turns on her to ask: “How can I make you love me?” In another, Margot, who is shown as far more serious than her sister, says to Anne: “You suck up all the air in this house. I’m the one who has to be good.” "


Did anybody else watch part one of this tonight? I was rather wary at the start, but it actually isn't that bad!

I do, however, think it was wrong to wait until the whole family was dead before releasing these parts of her diary to the public... Otto had specific wishes as to which parts of the diary were to be kept from publishing, & now it seems that's all gone out of the window. D:

I also don't understand how they're making Anne a "more rounded character"; she was a real person, not a fictional character whose personality can be chopped & changed. Since her diary is from her point-of-view, & Anne seemed like an honest girl, I doubt she was behaving drastically differently from the behaviour she wrote about. Since it's primarily a drama & not a historical account of what happened, I'm worried about which aspects of her personality they're going to exaggerate (I'm hoping they won't make her into a complete slut!). Maybe I'm just interpreting the article wrongly, & I've only seen the first half-hour part, but in some ways (though not all) I think it was wrong of them to film this.

-BBC site for the series.
-Scroll down to see an interview with Ellie Kendrick (who played Anne).
βяıαηηα мıcђεℓℓε: Holiday; candles*xobmw on January 5th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
"but in some ways I think it was wrong of them to film this."

me too..
Paul - who brings friendly nonsenseblur_kiwi on January 6th, 2009 08:21 am (UTC)
I watched it last night and I really enjoyed the 'real'life' aspect to it that other adaptations have lacked. I'm delighted that they are actually able to use Anne's own words rather than summary dialogue. I think it looks like being a very compelling drama that can only raise awareness of Anne and her story. If that's achieved, then I'm very much in favour of this new adaptation. I think it's really good that they are showing the episodes on successive evenings at prime time rather than weekly, this makes it more like reading the book. Of course, I've only seen the first part so far but I think it bodes well.
charlie_lou on January 6th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
I watched the first part of this last night and I too was weary about how Anne's life was going to be portrayed.
Although I do understand why Otto Frank had edited the diary the way he did, I think it was better to show on screen Anne's feelings towards her mother and the other members of the annex that weren't published in the origional edition. Part of me thinks that there should even be an adaptation made where the words from Anne's origional diary (version a - seen in the Critical Edition) should be used to make it more authentic if you are wanting to follow a timeline of Anne's feelings as well as the events happening in the annex.
I don't understand why the makers of the programme are saying that all previous adaptations have portrayed Anne as saintly. I don't think they did in Anne Frank: The Whole Story, I think that is the most accurate portrayal to date. Its strange that this version seems to have been forgotten by the general public, probably because they did not get the rights to the diary.

Also, they seem to be putting a lot of focus on Anne's relationship with Peter, which although an important part of the diary and will attract young audiences, I don't feel the relationship was as big as they are making it out to be. Its probably just me being picky, but does anyone else agree?
Adelle Stephens: bw obamaadeluxe on January 7th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
Just catching up with these episodes on Sky+, I think that the characterization of Anne has been done very well. The number of times that my mother compared her with my 13 year-old sister reminded me that although Anne has been almost made into sort of a saintly figure, not just by previous diary-related programming but also our human need to put a face to the six million dead in the horrors of the Holocaust, it is sometimes forgotten that she was a pre-teenage girl, due to hormonal mood swings and intense infatuations.