Little Video Timecapsules

When it comes to preserving memories, I’m usually more apt to grab a still camera than a video camera despite being in the video field. With a still, you can get a frozen moment that represents an event, and it can end up being really timeless. It eliminates all the flaws really easily and exists as a single split second of time. In general when you’re talking about pre-WW2, still pictures are what you get. I’m fairly used to seeing this era is frozen bits and pieces and I like it that way because everyone seems perfect and classy and timeless.

But then occasionally you see a video from an era that didn’t really have much video, and it’s almost kind of shocking to see the people in the pictures moving around. They seem like still life in the photos, almost like they don’t really exist. But then suddenly they’re moving around and being regular ol’ people who don’t even know what’s coming to them in the next 70 years, wearing clothes and walking around on what looks like a movie set.

I saw this video posted on Mashable this week. The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam released it recently. It’s the only known video of Anne Frank. I think the whole somewhat strange feeling of seeing figures that don’t normally have 3 dimensions in this form is furthered by seeing someone so iconic as Anne Frank. This video is from July 22, 1941, a little under 5 months before WW2 started.

With her diary having been published for 50 years, it’s easy to forget that she was once an actual person. She was once a little girl who lived in a building and peered out of her window to see a bride and groom walk into the street. I think this should be shown to kids when they are assigned to read her diary, as a reminder that it is in fact NOT fictional.

This is another reason I love video. It can capture a whole scene so vividly even on 30 second of black and white. With everyone having a video camera in their pocket these days, this feeling of finding a small treasure in a video long past won’t continue.