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August 18, 2016 2:44 pm

Secret Screening of Anne Frank Film Teaches Iranian Students, Professors About the Holocaust

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Anne Frank. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Anne Frank. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A documentary film about the Holocaust was secretly screened at a theater in Iran, Deadline Hollywood reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the film — titled “Anne Frank: Then and Now” — was shown at a provincial theater to a group of film students and their professors. Since the screening was not approved by government authorities in Iran, Deadline did not disclose the names of the Iranians involved, the location of the theater or the timing of the screening.

The film’s Croatian director, Jakov Sedlar, told Deadline, “Before the start of the screening, I did an introduction with an explanation about Anne Frank and the Holocaust. After the screening, I had a one-hour conversation with the audience. Those students never ever heard about Anne Frank; just two young people knew something about the Holocaust.

“We spoke a lot about the influence of art in today’s world. At the end, one of students told me: ‘Thanks for teaching us about something new.’”

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The film features eight Palestinian and two Israeli girls reading excerpts from Anne Frank’s diary.

Frank, a German-born Jew who later moved to Amsterdam with her family after the Nazis came to power, died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the age of 15 in 1945. Her diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, details her life while in hiding in Amsterdam between 1942-1944.

Holocaust denial is prevalent among top Iranian regime officials. In recent years, both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have publicly questioned Hitler’s genocide of the Jews on numerous occasions. In January, Khamenei posted on his official website a video expressing doubt whether the Holocaust took place and complaining about European nations’ ban on Holocaust denial.

Nevertheless, as The Algemeiner reported, Iran has held three Holocaust cartoon contests. Though Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told The New Yorker magazine in May that these are not sponsored by the regime, Massoud Shojaei Tabatabaei, secretary of the Holocaust International Cartoon Contest, admitted in an April 27 interview with the Iranian website Nasimonline that his organization “cooperates with the Ministry of Culture.”

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  • Visual Art Communication will always triumph over primitive political traps staged events. I’m not writing only about the case of the Holocaust and Anne Frank. Similar events of traps primitive politics are taking place to day. A fake political staged event has nothing to do with structure of randomness in empirical reality. The Iranian political matter of to day is a very sad reality for Iran, not for the free world which is to day under the radar of social information technology. Brunhilde Pomsel said “I’m relieved I never had any children that I have to worry about.”, because in her young days she did swallow a realty which did not exist! So it is with the Iranian young people to day. What a f…k life.

  • Yaakov

    Why does the last paragraph begin with “nevertheless”? The purpose of the Holocaust cartoon contests has been to ridicule the whole idea of the Holocaust, which is in keeping with the questioning of the Holocaust by Iranian leaders.