THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE
Biography/Drama/History – 2017 – USA – 124 Minutes – Focus Features – PG-13
The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh of “The Brand New Testament”), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned – and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl of “Inglourious Basterds”). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk. Based on the book by Diane Ackerman.
Directed by Niki Caro
Starring Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Brühl
The Zookeeper’s Wife achieves its grandeur, not through the depiction of grand movements, but through its attentiveness to the shifts and flickers of the soul. – The San Francisco Chronicle
There’s something powerful to be read into every action, line, and image. Subtle yet striking, this is a film that is filled with the power of exquisitely executed storytelling. – The Film Stage
True to form, Caro seems unbound by her audience’s expectations of a WWII picture; she delivers a singular, thrilling portrait, filled with surprises and moving performances. – The Village Voice
Caro (“Whale Rider”) largely forgoes the eardrum-shattering ballistics of a typical war movie — yes, there are bombings and shootings, but they’re the backdrop, not the focus. Her film dwells more in the aftermath of violence. – New York Post
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