In spite of the atrocities they must endure, characters in Netflix’s “All the Light We Cannot See” gravitate towards kindness and love in a world of conflict and destruction. The narrative is on Marie and Werner, who are from two very different worlds and have quite diverse life experiences, but who are connected by the elements that make them unique. The show walks the audience through their past in four episodes to show us the kind of people they are now and the effects their actions will have in the road.
Understanding the story’s backdrop and context is crucial to comprehending these individuals’ travels. Here’s a look at the era and location that give Marie and Werner’s story depth and purpose. AHEAD OF SPOILERS
When All the Light We Cannot See Takes Place
When the Americans began bombing Saint-Malo in 1944 to resist the Nazi capture of the French city, the main events of “All the Light We Cannot See” took place over a few weeks. In this alternate reality, Werner and Marie find themselves stranded in a closed-off city, despite American warnings of their impending return and subsequent bombing.
While Marie is alone in her home and without the presence of her father, uncle, or Madame Manec, Werner is trapped in the debris with every member of his unit slain. Reinhold von Rumpel is searching for the Sea of Flames at the same time, and he has located Marie-Laure LeBlanc, whose address is the last barrier preventing him from reaching the stone.
In order to connect these three stories, the show uses flashbacks to provide viewers with the characters’ past, which spans up to ten years. Chronologically speaking, the story starts in 1934 when Daniel LeBlanc brings his little daughter Marie to the museum where he works while also teaching her how to get around separately in the city. In parallel, Werner Pfennig, who is in an orphanage in Germany, exhibits his talent for radio to others who are in close proximity to him.
We fast-forward to 1940, when the war has broken out and the Germans have invaded France. When Marie and Daniel attempt to escape Paris by train on June 14, 1940, they run into obstacles and must find an alternate route that takes them through Saint-Malo. Werner, who is too young to enrol, arrives in training in the meantime, ready to fight in the war. Over the course of the following few years, Werner and Marie’s paths eventually intersect when they both arrive in Saint-Malo.
Where All the Light We Cannot See Takes Place
All the Lights We Cannot See’s central events take place in Nazi-occupied France. Saint-Malo becomes the focal point of the narrative, and the show’s writers utilised Saint-Malo as one of the filming locations to give the plot a more authentic feel. While the Americans are bombing the city, Marie-Laure stays in the house where she lives with her Uncle Etienne. She has no idea that Werner is not too far away. The German Radio Surveillance Headquarters was housed in the Hotel of Bees, which is now in ruins.
The way that Werner and Marie’s stories come together in Saint-Malo is revealed in the flashbacks. Hers starts in Paris, where she resides with her father, the Museum of Natural History’s curator. But when the Nazis attack the city, they had to leave. They attempt to escape via the Gare Saint-Lazare Train Station, but it is closed when they arrive, so they make their way to Saint-Malo on foot.
Werner, meanwhile, is raised in Essen, Germany’s Viktorastrasse orphanage. He gets taken from his family, his sister, and his friends when he is a teenager in order to use his radio skill for the good of his nation. He is chosen to attend the National Political Institute of Education, where he receives rigorous physical and mental training to get ready for the horrors of war.
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