To some, the Holocaust is ancient history. In 2020, we have more pressing problems to occupy our time with. But the Holocaust was only 80 years ago, and the issues from that era are as prevalent now as they were then.
#AnneFrank-ParallelStories is one of the newest releases on Netflix. With a voice-over by Helen Mirren, this documentary tells the story of Anne Frank while telling the stories of other women who are among the few to have survived. While Mirren reads from Anne’s diary, the audience follows a young woman as she travels across Europe, asking questions that frankly, need to be asked.
I’ve seen many Holocaust films over the years. What makes it different is that it hard-hitting, emotional, and squarely aimed at the younger viewers. If I have walked away from this movie with one message, it is that we have a chance to ensure that the Holocaust in any variation never happens again. That requires asking difficult questions and learning from the mistakes of our predecessors.
I recommend it.
#AnneFrank-Parallel Lives is available for streaming on Netflix.
The situation is Middle East and Israel, specifically, is complicated. Despite the finger pointing, the media and multitude of opinions, it is not as simple as black and white.
Dancing in Jaffa, a documentary by Hilla Medalia, follows Pierre Dulaine, a native of Jaffa, who returns to his birth city to teach it’s children to dance. Mr. Dulaine, born to a Palestinian mother and an Irish father has been a professional ballroom dancer for decades.
He selects five schools. They are either exclusively Jewish or Palestinian, with only one containing a more diverse student body. The students initial reaction, to both the dancing and their potential dance partners is expected. In addition to following Mr. Dulaine, the filmmakers follow several of the students as they learn to dance and spend time with their new friends and dance partners.
What I enjoyed about the documentary is that we, as the audience, understand what it is like to live in Jaffa. What I gained from this documentary is hope. Hope that these children will remember their dancing experiences and their dancing partners and use this experience to lead us to peace.