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Nat Geo’s A SMALL LIGHT w/ Liev Schreiber, Bel Powley, Joe Cole: Overview, Cast, Episodes & More

Maj Canton - May 1, 2023



Don't Miss…on Monday, May 1, 2023 at 9-11:30pm ET/PT, the National Geographic Channel premieres the outstanding and riveting eight-part limited series, A SMALL LIGHT, which 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. Told with a modern sensibility, the series tells the 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 Jewish 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. You may think you know the story of Anne Frank and her family, but what happened outside the annex walls was just as powerful. When Miep Gies spoke to audiences about her experience in the war she always ended with… "No one should ever think they have to be special to help others. Anyone, even an ordinary secretary, housewife, or teenager, can turn on a small light in a dark room."


“I have personal connections to this part of history,” said Bell Powery, and I'm a very strong believer that we need to keep retelling these stories as there are less and less living Holocaust survivors with us. But I also think that in the retelling of those stories, especially on screen, it's very important to make it fresh and accessible. When I read the pilot episode I was blown away by how modern and, current and relatable the story felt. And I think that that's incredibly important in the current political climate, with anti‑Semitism is on the rise.”


On playing Otto Frank, Live Scheieber said “This not the Anne Frank story you were taught in elementary school. What was so powerful to me about Otto as a character is that he felt shackled by the term "Jew," that that was his experience, that he wanted to be a German, and he couldn't because he was forced ‑‑ he could only be, in this administration's eyes, a Jew, which is a broader perspective on the Jewish conversation at large. This is a story of commitment friendship, loyalty, kindness and compassion.


Also starring: Billie Boullet as Anne Frank, Amira Casar as Edith Frank Ashley Brooke as Margot Frank, Eleanor Tomlinson as Tess,Andy Nyman as Hermann van Pels, Caroline Cats as Auguste van Pels, Noah Taylor as Dr Fritz Pfeffer; Sally Messham as Bep Voskuijl; Ian McElhinney as Johannes Kleiman, Nicholas Burns as Victor Kugler, Liza Sadovy as Mrs Stoppelman, Laurie Kynaston as Casmir, Sebastian Armesto as Max Stoppelman, Rudi Goodman as Peter van Pels, and Daniel Donkey as Karl Josef Silberbauer.




If you want to know nothing about the episodes at all, skip this section. Provided by National Geographic Channel, this episode guide includes general episode descriptions and specific plot details. This series was beautifully shot on location in both Amsterdam and in Prague. New episodes debut weekly on Mondays at 9 and 10pm ET/PT on National Geographic Channel and stream Tuesday mornings on Disney+.

"Pilot" (Monday, May 1, 2023 at 9pm): Miep, who believes she's just a secretary, is asked to hide the Franks and must rise to the occasion. No longer ordinary, her first task is to get a nervous Margot into the secret hiding place in plain view of the Nazis. After giving Margot the strength Miep didn't even know she had, the Franks are safe and sound behind the walls of the annex. Now she and Jan realize this was the easy part.

"Welcome to Switzerland" (Monday, May 1, 2023 at 10pm): Everything seems under control until Miep’s Jewish dentist, Fritz Pfeffer, asks if she knows of a place where he can hide. At first, Miep denies knowing anything and tries to live like she did before the Nazis invaded, but the growing violence she sees on the streets changes her mind. Miep is becoming more and more adamant about helping anyone she can...even if that means finding new and more dangerous ways to feed them all.

"Motherland" (Monday, May 8, 2023 at 9pm): Laws against Jews are intensifying, landing two small children in Miep and Jan’s care, strengthening Jan’s ties to the resistance and bringing up Miep’s issues with her past abandonment.

"The Butterfly" (Monday, May 8, 2023 at 10pm): Miep tries to reconcile her old life with her new one but is forced to choose between her morals and her lifelong best friend while trying to bring some form of holiday cheer to the lives of those in the annex.

"Scheissfeld" (Monday, May 15, 2023 at 9pm): The marriage of Miep and Jan is under pressure because of Jan's work for the resistance. Miep's brother Cas doesn't want her to let him go on a mission. But Jan goes anyway and Miep anxiously waits to see if it goes well.

"Boiling Point" (Monday, May 15, 2023 at 10pm): Most of the Jews have left Amsterdam, so now it's the turn of the Jewish Council. Max asks Miep and Jan to help him escape the city with his wife and two Jewish nurses.

"What Can Be Saved" (Monday, May 22, 2023 at 9pm): The Nazis raid Opekta. When they arrest the people in the secret annex, Miep turns to Silberbauer. Maybe the Nazis are bribing. She will have to beg, but Miep will not give up.

"Legacy" (Monday, May 22, 2023 at 10pm): During the hunger winter, Miep manages to keep Opekta running. After the liberation of Amsterdam, Miep and the other helpers try to find out what became of their Jewish friends.