Is All the Light We Can’t See Based on a True Story?

In April, Netflix released the first trailer for its highly anticipated adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel all the light we can’t see. Published in 2014, Light It sold more than 15 million copies and won nearly every literary award in existence.its 200-week tenure New York Times The bestseller list is a monumental feat and a testament to the author’s insight Anthony Durrof Works have influenced readers around the world. Nearly a Decade of Netflix Limited Series, Directed by the Director Sean Levy with TV series Steven Knight, and the stars Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Louis Hoffman, and industry newcomers Aria Mia Loberti.



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Although the story takes place before, during and after World War II, all the light we can’t see It is a work of historical fiction. Dole created the novel’s dual protagonists, but their individual storylines and European settings were largely inspired by and built around real events, particularly the pivotal Battle of Saint-Malo.The historical resilience of this French city, combined with overheard conversations on daily train rides, provides lamp A compelling humanistic story.

related: ‘All the Light We Can’t See’: Release Date, Trailer, Cast, and What to Expect



What Inspired “All the Light We Can’t See”?

Mark Ruffalo with his character's youngest daughter in Netflix's The Light We Can't See
Image via Netflix

Anthony Doerr spent 10 years developing all the light we can’t see. A train ride in 2004 sparked his original idea. In an interview with NPR in 2014, Doerr recalled how angry a stranger was that he had lost cell phone coverage. “He was kind of angry, kind of embarrassingly angry,” Dole said, “unreasonably angry. I just remember thinking, it’s a miracle he’s forgotten — actually we’ve been forgetting — all this time. He’s Using this little receiver and transmitter, this little radio in his pocket, can send messages to people thousands of miles away at the speed of light bouncing between towers.”

This matter has been bothering Dole and Rabbit. If he wanted to highlight the magic of technology, he needed to set the story in a time when mass communication was still new. Doerr also has an accompanying seminal image: The author tells Powell Books, “I have a boy stuck somewhere and a girl reading him stories[over the radio].”

About a year later, Tour visited the French coastal city of Saint-Malo. He wondered how such an ancient town had survived a military raid.As Doerr described huff post2015: “You walk down the cobblestone lanes, you smell the tide, you hear the echo of your footsteps, and you think: This city has existed for more than a thousand years. But Saint-Malo was almost completely destroyed by American artillery fire In 1944, the final months of World War II, block after block of granite was painstakingly reassembled in the late 1940s and early 1950s. A place could hide its own burning so thoroughly that my own country Being responsible for that burning fascinates me.”

Who is the main character in All the Light We Can’t See?

Aria Mia Loberti at the microphone in Netflix's 'The Light We Can't See'
Image via Netflix

Since then, Duer’s ideas have crystallized. The two young protagonists meet at the Battle of Saint-Malo in 1944, a month-long campaign as part of the Allied mission to liberate France from Nazi control. Dole knows that boys and girls are trapped in Saint-Malo as all sides fight for freedom. Girls are reading while boys are listening on the radio. The invention and popularization of the radio provided a natural opportunity to study how resistance fighters in Europe used this technological marvel to fight the Nazis, while Germany used it to spread Third Reich propaganda. (The job of an Allied radio operator is one of the most important and life-threatening jobs of the war.)

exist all the light we can’t see, The girl Doerr imagines is Marie-Laure LeBlanc (Loberti) and the boy Werner Fennig (Hoffmann). Marie lives in Paris with her father Daniel LeBlanc (Ruffalo), a locksmith at the Paris Museum of Natural History. The German invasion forces them to flee Paris and stay in Saint-Malo with Daniel’s brother Étienne (Laurie). In Germany, Werner was a technical prodigy with a talent for repairing equipment, especially radios. Recruited by the Nazi army for his skills, Werner became a soldier tasked with locating and eliminating resistance radio stations.

What happened at the Battle of Saint-Malo?

Louis Hofmann as Werner Pfennig in All the Light We Can't See
Image via Netflix

As Saint-Malo is a town along the English Channel with a large port, German troops seized control in 1940 and used it as an important naval base during the French occupation. It was part of the French occupation zone and one of the cities that formed the Atlantic Wall, a German effort to fend off a potential British siege. They built additional fortifications on top of the city’s fortifications, including a bastion where loyal Nazi commanders were stationed.

On June 6, 1944, Allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy, beginning the largest naval battle to date. The fighting to liberate Saint-Malo lasted about a month—August 4 to September 2—after which Allied forces liberated the civilian population. At that time, nearly 80% of the buildings in Saint-Malo were destroyed.

Anthony Durr has done a lot of research over the course of his 10 years of writing. He revisited Saint-Malo to really get a feel for the city. He read personal journals and incorporated incidental details of period-appropriate furniture and equipment he found in old Sears catalogs. He told Powell that the propaganda broadcasts transcribed in the novel “are actual excerpts from actual speeches.”

Is the sea of ​​fire real?

Aria Mia Loberti and Hugh Laurie sit on stone steps in The Light of All We Can't See
Image via Netflix

all the light There is also a MacGuffin object that drives its plot and theme. Nazi soldier Reinhold von Rumpel (Lars Ettinger) in pursuit of a diamond called the Sea of ​​Fire, which is said to be a cursed relic capable of immortality at the expense of its owner’s happiness. Marie-Laure takes possession of Sea of ​​Fire, which leads to an inevitable clash between the two.

“The closest analog (with a sea of ​​flames) is at the Natural History Museum in England,” Duer said. “It’s a sapphire that people have long believed to be cursed.” Duer’s inspiration for the imaginary diamond wasn’t a real object, but something more universal: Louvre employees raced against time to pack priceless artwork before the German invasion tragic picture. “There were some incredible photographs of Rembrandts being boxed and the halls of the Louvre turned into packing yards with straw and twine and crates,” Duer said. “Then I started thinking The Natural History Museum in Paris. What treasures are there?”

Remembering history has never been more important

Hugh Laurie looks left near a globe in Netflix's The Light We Can't See
Image via Netflix

When it comes to writing fiction about historical atrocities already routinely scrutinized by the media, for Dole, something new matters. Given that almost the entire World War II generation has died, he asserts that storytellers have a greater responsibility not to paint history as a simplistic “black and white” narrative. “My attempt in this novel was to hint at the humanity of Werner and Marie Lauer,” he told huffington post“proposes more complex portraits of heroes and villains; hints at all the light we can’t see as World War II fades from the memory of the last survivors and becomes history.”

Miniseries on Netflix all the light we can’t see It premiered on November 2.

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