Shawn Levy, who produced and directed all four episodes of Netflix’s “All the Light We Cannot See” limited series adaptation, connected the story’s context of World War II with the recent flare of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Anthony Doerr, “All the Light We Cannot See” tells the dual narrative of Marie Laure LeBlanc (Aria Mia Loberti) who had to flee German-occupied France with her father at the onset of World War II and Werner Pfennig (Louis Hofmann), a young German boy with a proclivity for radios, whose intelligence lands him in a coveted position for the Nazis as they attempt to prevent broadcasting and code that lets their targets get aid.
“While the book and the show is not a Holocaust story, it is set in the war that perpetrated the Holocaust,” Levy said in a Zoom interview about the series. “I will confess certainly as a Jewish, Canadian now American citizen, the events of recent days and so much of the climate in the days since have been really heartbreaking to me, because it’s so clear that a hatred of the Jewish people was not just a moment in time.”
None of the characters within “All the Light We Cannot See” are expressly Jewish. The plot involves a mysterious diamond, The Sea of Flames, which Marie Laure’s father had in his possession when the Germans invaded France. A greedy and ill jewel-examiner Sergeant Major Reinhold von Rumpel (Lars Eidinger) seeks the gem to restore his health, not caring about the legendary curse that befalls any owner of the diamond who happens to touch it.
“There are still groups and people committed to the eradication of the Jewish people just as Hitler was. It feels timely, it feels is important to shine a light on that,” Levy added. “I’m I’m in pain almost every day lately, but I’m grateful that I got to tell a story that themetically connects, and might remind people that these horrors are not only in history.”
All four episodes of “All the Light We Cannot See” are now streaming on Netflix.