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Anne Frank’s Diary The Graphic Adaptation
2019-07-29 | By Tracey Taylor
The Diary of a Young Girl has been translated into more than 70 languages and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Now for the first time, a graphic novel adaptation of the story of Anne Frank has been published.
“Dear Kitty, I hope I will be able to confide everything to you…” Anne Frank
The story of Anne Frank is world famous, and for those living in the Netherlands it perhaps takes on more poignant sentiments. If you have never been to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, be sure to put it on your list. If you have not yet read The Diary of a Young Girl, you should take the time to do so.
“… think about the trains going east, then the room will seem huge…” Margot Frank
Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation is the first publication of its kind and was released (in English) in late 2018 by Penguin Random House UK. This graphic novel version of The Diary of a Young Girl is endorsed by the Anne Frank Fonds Basel, the organisation founded by Otto Frank in 1963 to keep the legacy of his daughter alive.
While there could be reservations about such a publication, as graphic novels are often presumed to revolve around stories of Marvel superheroes and manga characters, any concerns about whether a graphic novel would be an “unsuitable” format for Anne’s story were quickly dispelled as the team who put this book together have done so with a huge amount of care and compassion.
Ari Folman, Israeli director, screenwriter and film score composer, took on the brave task of editing and adapting the diary by reflecting on certain events over the course of the diary’s two-year period.
“I wish to declare that we are sensitive to and aware of the liberties we have taken”, says Folman, “and that our goal was always foremost to honour and preserve the spirit of Anne Frank in each and every frame”.
Together with illustrator David Polonsky, a graduate from Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, the result is a collection of extracts and full quotations from the actual diary, which are cleverly interspersed with stunning illustrations. Expressive and sympathetic artwork brings Anne’s story to life through pages of colour, shadow and emotion.
“No one would believe me, but at the age of 13, I feel totally alone in this world…” Anne Frank
The graphic adaptation begins on 12 June, 1942 (Anne’s birthday), and quite soon into the book we are introduced to Kitty, Anne’s name for her beloved diary.
This adaptation does not remove integrity from the original diary but instead the stunning visual imagery adds depth and dimension to the story. It also does not shy away from the darker side of Anne’s mind nor the struggles of the war she finds herself in and her teenage angst. The book is also not afraid to touch on her depression, her underlying fears, and her frustrations with the often-fraught atmosphere of life in the confines of the Secret Annex.
“…trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if…
if only there were no other people in the world…” Anne Frank
Given the impracticalities of graphically adapting the entire diary, some readers may find they miss the full historical content of the original book. While adults are not necessarily the target audience, as the graphic adaptation is perhaps aimed at a younger readership, there is still something here for all age groups.
“A bundle of contradictions…” Anne Frank
The last entry made in The Diary of a Young Girl was on 1 August 1944.
On the morning of 4 August, a car pulled up at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam and arrested the eight people who were hiding in the annex.
Annelies Marie (Anne) Frank is believed to have died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Hanover, Germany in February of 1945.
She was 15 years old.
Text by Anne Frank
Adapted by Ari Folman
Illustrated by David Polonsky
Imprint: Penguin Random House UK
Published: October 2018
Published: October 2017