Is A Small Light based on a true story? Anne Frank drama explained

Bel Powley in Shine a Light.Disney+

A Small Light is a new show set in Amsterdam during WWII. But is the series based on a true story? Here’s everything you need to know about the historical drama.

A Small Light is a new show on National Geographic, HULU, and Disney+ in the States, and streaming on Disney+ in the UK.

The series stars Bel Powley, Joe Cole, Liev Schreiber, Andy Nyman, Noah Taylor, and Billie Boullet.

Depicting the brave work of the Dutch Resistance during the Second World War, it’s a tale of both tragedy and hope. But is A Small Light based on a true story?

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Is A Small Light based on a true story? Anne Frank drama explained

Yes, A Small Light is based on a true story. It tells the tale of Anne Frank, the teenage girl who died in a German concentration camp, but whose diary has since been translated into more than 70 languages. But it also tells the tale of the people who sheltered her before then.

Here’s the official synopsis of the show: “A Small Light follows Miep Gies, the secretary of Otto Frank. With the help of the Dutch Resistance, Miep and her husband protected the Franks and countless others from the Nazis during WWII. You may know the story of Anne Frank and her life in the annex. This is what happened on the other side of the bookcase.”

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A Small Light is written by Grey’s Anatomy scribes Tony Phelan and Joan Rater.

Who was Miep Gies?

Speaking to the Radio Times about Miep Gies, Joan Rater explains: “I was reading about Miep, and she was a young woman, newly married, blue collar, sort of a party girl, and her boss Otto Frank asks her to help hide his family. And she said, yes, immediately, ‘Of course, anyone would do it.’

“And I turned to my son who was around the same age and I suddenly was struck that she wasn’t this person who knew how to hide people, or was exceptionally courageous, she was just an ordinary person.”

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“I thought, ‘She’s him, she’s this guy,’ my son. Who’s amazing and passionate and smart and empathetic, but he’s also sometimes messy, forgetful, insecure, the whole range of the human experience.

“And suddenly we had this thought of wanting to clear the cobwebs off the history and see the humanity and see what it would be like to be an ordinary person in this extraordinary time. And sort of show the ordinary moments of doubt and anger, show sex and laughter and joy, that was existing at this time.”

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The story of the Dutch Resistance

Alongside Anne Frank and Miep Gies, A Small Light also revolves around Miep’s husband Jan. Which proved to be a challenge.

“As well as the story of Miep, we were telling the story of her husband Jan, who was an active member of the Resistance,” Joan Rater tells WhatsOnDisneyPlus. “And he, in real life, didn’t like to talk about the war after the war. So there’s not a lot of specifics that his family knew or that are known about Jan. And so we had to do a lot of research and try to see if we could discover specifics about what Jan did as a member of the resistance.

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“We discovered some things, but because he was so, not a guy to talk about himself, we ended up… What we knew is that he was a social worker and that he was recruited at work. And so we had to sort of imagine what social workers, what he would’ve done. So that was challenging.”

A Small Light is now streaming. For more TV and Movies coverage, check out the below previews…

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