The first official trailer of “A Small Light” — the Nat Geo, Hulu and Disney+ show that tells the story of the secretary who helped hide the Frank family and salvage Anne Frank’s diary — is here, and it will truly give you chills.
Starring Bel Powley as Miep Gies, an Austrian immigrant to the Netherlands who ended up working in Frank’s pectin factory in Amsterdam, the trailer opens on the Nazi-occupied Dutch capital, where Jewish businesses are boarded up and streets are full of Nazi soldiers and flags.
“I hear they’re cracking down on the Jews, that must be scary,” a friend tells Gies in the trailer — like it’s a particularly juicy piece of gossip, and not the callous and deadly persecution of actual human beings.
We see Otto Frank, played by Liev Schrieber, who is himself the descendant of Jewish refugees. “Miep, what I am asking you to do is dangerous,” he tells his young secretary as he asks her to help hide him and his family, warning her that if she gets caught, she “could get arrested or even worse.”
But Powley in the trailer is fast and emphatic, telling her employer that she doesn’t need to think about it and asking him, right away, what he needs her to do.
When Miep’s husband Jan Gies, played by Joe Cole, is angry at her for agreeing to this huge undertaking without consulting him, she yells back at him: “I didn’t think I had to consult you before deciding to save a person’s life.”
Jan later joins the resistance against the Nazis, saying that “Otto has lost everything and still he resists — I have to resist, too.”
As the pressures of hiding the Franks mounts and the evils of the Nazi regime close in on her, Miep insists that she has to be good, “so that I’ll believe that I can be good when this is over.”
As for the Frank patriarch, he remains insistent in the trailer: “My only job is to protect my family,” he says, holding his loved ones while bomb sirens blast overhead.
We see Anne Frank — played by an entrancing, dreamy and vibrant Billie Boulet — boasting that the queen wants to read her diary and and then looking scared as the city gets bombed. We also get a glimpse of a moving scene of Gies, the Franks and the Van Pels celebrating Hanukkah in hiding.
“We can’t save everyone,” Miep says in the trailer, “But if I don’t try, I don’t think I’ll be able to live with myself.”
This trailer is intense and incredible, with Powley giving an impassioned and award-worthy performance as a person whose unshakeable moral center is tested by a reality where the path of least resistance involves turning a blind eye to the horrors that surround her.
The eight-part series, produced by ABC Signature and Keshet, is launching its first two episodes on May 1 on National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild and Lifetime. Two episodes of the show will debut every Monday on National Geographic and stream the next day on Disney+ and Hulu.
We can’t wait.