The new limited series A SMALL LIGHT focuses on the inspiring, real-life story of Miep Gies, who played a critical role in hiding Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi occupation in Amsterdam.
Disney+ has announced that the powerful limited series, produced by ABC Signature and Keshet Studios, will premiere on Tuesday 2 May on Disney+ in the UK.
Told with a modern sensibility, A SMALL LIGHT tells the remarkable true story of secretary Miep Gies (Bel Powley), who was a young, carefree and opinionated woman — at a time when opinions got you killed — when her boss, Otto Frank (Liev Schreiber), asked her to help hide his family from the Nazis during WWII. Without hesitation, Miep agreed.
For the next two years, she and her daring and devoted husband Jan (Joe Cole), with several other everyday heroes, watched over the Frank, van Pels and Pfeffer families hiding in the secret annex.
A life once filled with parties and pints, the series details how Miep’s life changed the moment she said “yes.” From daily food runs to scrounging for ration coupons to selling beloved heirlooms, it took countless selfless sacrifices. In the end, it was Miep who found Anne Frank’s diary and preserved it so that she and Otto could later share it with the world to ensure it served as a testament for generations to come.
Filmed on location in Amsterdam and Prague, A SMALL LIGHT also reveals that in addition to hiding the eight souls in the annex from the Nazis, the brave couple was simultaneously hiding many others in and around Amsterdam with the help of the Dutch Resistance.
Powley’s fierce performance shakes the cobwebs off history and makes Miep’s story feel relevant and timely, forcing audiences to ask themselves what they would have done in Miep’s shoes; and in modern times, asking if they would have the courage to stand up to hatred.
The series title comes from something Miep said late in her life: “I don’t like being called a hero because no one should ever think you have to be special to help others. Even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can turn on a small light in a dark room.”
Joan Rater and Tony Phelan, creators and executive producers, said, “People may know the story of Anne Frank and her family, but what happened outside the annex walls was just as powerful, inspiring and resonant.
When we heard about Miep and Jan’s inherent strength in risking their lives for others during the occupation, we were blown away. A SMALL LIGHT is a true story that should never be forgotten. We hope it leaves a lasting impact on viewers and helps to show the importance of discovering untold stories of the Holocaust and the lessons it continues to teach.”
Additional cast includes Amira Casar, who plays Edith Frank, mother to Margot and Anne; Billie Boullet, who portrays Anne Frank; Ashley Brooke, who plays Anne’s older sister Margot Frank; Andy Nyman as Hermann van Pels, Caroline Catz as Auguste van Pels, Rudi Goodman as Peter van Pels, and Noah Taylor as Dr. Fritz Pfeffer, who all hid in the annex with the Frank family.
Plus, Eleanor Tomlinson as Tess, Miep’s best friend; Sally Messham as Bep Voskuijl, Ian McElhinney as Johannes Kleiman, and Nicholas Burns as Victor Kugler, Miep’s coworkers; and Liza Sadovy as Mrs. Stoppelman, Laurie Kynaston as Casmir, and Sebastian Armesto as Max Stoppelman.
A SMALL LIGHT is produced by ABC Signature and Keshet Studios for National Geographic. Disney+ is available for £7.99 per month – with no hidden costs and the ability to cancel anytime.