NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Christian artist Natalie Grant hosted a discussion surrounding the Netflix adaptation of the novel All the Light We Cannot See, commenting on how the series reminds viewers of the power of words and the possibility of hope even amid darkness.
On Monday, Grant, along with bloggers Hunter Premo and Jessica Turner, hosted a screening of the four-part series, which hits Netflix on Nov. 2 and stars Aria Mia Loberti, Louis Hofmann, Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie.
Directed by Shawn Levy, “All the Light We Cannot See” follows the story of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl and her father, Daniel LeBlanc, who flee German-occupied Paris with a priceless diamond to keep it from falling into the hands of the Nazis.
While pursued by a Nazi officer who seeks to possess the stone for his own selfish means, Marie-Laure and Daniel find refuge in St. Malo, where they take up residence with a reclusive uncle who transmits clandestine radio broadcasts as part of the Resistance. Here, Marie-Laure meets Werner, a brilliant teenager enlisted by Hitler’s regime to track down illegal broadcasts. The two strike up a friendship that highlights the power of human connection in even the darkest of circumstances.
Following a screening of the series, Grant, a Grammy-nominated artist, said she was struck by the “fortitude” of Marie-Laure as well as the “power of words.” She emphasized how the protagonist believed in her own strength, a belief instilled by her father’s words, even when she couldn’t see him.
“What struck me about the series was the power of words. The fact that she believed that she could withstand. Not just the character but the actress. Marie says, ‘In this time of stupid darkness what are we saying?’ and I find that so timely. We have so much power in our words.
I think about just the power of words and what we speak over people. Obviously, the general thinking is, what are we saying online … but I’m not talking about the big, I’m talking about in our circles. What are we saying to the people that we love in our communities, in our families, in our circles? What are we speaking? The Bible even says, ‘The power of life and death is in the tongue.’ (Proverbs 18:21) And there was just something about the whole show, thinking about the commonality between even the main girl and the soldier, it was the power of words.”
The Netflix series also marks the first production of this size and scope to cast blind roles authentically with blind actors. Both Nell Sutton, the actress who plays young Marie-Laure, and Loberti are vision-impaired.
Released in 2014, All the Light We Cannot See was on The New York Times bestseller list for over 200 weeks and sold over 15 million copies. The book has been praised by Christian critics for elevating kindness and the goodness of humanity in the face of unthinkable evil.
Doerr, who was raised Catholic, previously credited Christian author C.S. Lewis as being one of his earliest literary influences.
The series also explores the influence of parents and mentors in shaping a person’s character. Grant, who attended the event with her husband and daughter, praised the intentional and loving parenting portrayed in the story. She highlighted the importance of quality time spent with loved ones and the impact it can have on a person’s life.
“Everything [the dad] did was so intentional in the way that he loved her, and … just taking the time,” Grant said. “It’s not the quantity of time always, it’s the quality, and just the way that he invested in her.”
In a previous interview with The Christian Post, Levy, a father himself, said he’s always loved movies, film and television shows that “can be for everyone,” adding: “It doesn’t mean that I make movies to pontificate or to preach about a certain set of values. But I do believe in the value of family connection, and I make movies that show those connections, and my real goal is to make movies that foster those connections.”
“I like movies and shows that we can watch together, and I know how rare they are,” he said. “I don’t know what happened to that genre. But if you show me a movie that I can watch with my daughter and my dad, that can span generations, that’s a gift to us as a family because that becomes a shared experience that becomes a shared family memory.”
“All the Light We Cannot See” hits Netflix on Nov. 2.
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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