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THE ZOOKEEPERS WIFE
Graeme Tuckett 4 Stars “Niki Caro’s tale is a rousingly good film.”
Whale Rider director Niki Caro teams up with two-time Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain (The Martian) for this adaptation of Diane Ackerman’s best-selling novel.
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 (Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh), ran the Warsaw Zoo.
Between 1939 and 1945, Antonina and Jan Zabinski saved an estimated 300 people from almost certain death in the Warsaw Ghetto.
After the German invasion, they invented a ruse that would allow Jan to employ workers from the imprisoned Jewish population, who could then be spirited away under the cover of forged papers.
The Zabinskis used the empty buildings of the zoo, which had been bombed in the Nazi’s blitzkrieg attack on Warsaw, to hide and shelter their charges.
Directed by Niki Caro (‘Whale Rider’, ‘North Country’, ‘McFarland, USA’)
Starring Jessica Chastain, Daniel Brühl, Johan Heldenbergh, Iddo Goldberg, Michael McElhatton, Anna Rust, Goran Kostić
Written by Angela Workman (based on the novel of the same name by Diane Ackerman)
Drama, True Story & Biography, War, Historical | 127 mins M Violence | USA