Okay, stop reading and just stare at the lion cubs above. I know I did. And then I remembered I had to write something, oh dear. Excuse me if I get a little distracted here. This movie is actually not so much about animals, though and more about war. I enjoy war movies. And while their subject matter can get tiresome, a good war movie is never a bad thing. I also like animals, whatever species Nick is aside. And so this movie about a zoo in World War 2 should be something that really gets my attention.
Based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Diane Ackerman, The Zookeeper’s Wife is based on the real diaries of Antonina Żabiński, who is portrayed by Jessica Chastain in this film. The story takes place in 1939, Poland, where Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh) run a Warsaw Zoo. The Zoo flourishes under the couples care and becomes a popular spot in the city.
Look at those zebra’s, aren’t they cute? I do prefer them in the wild though – that’s one of the things I love about living in Africa. Seeing the animals in their natural habitat… Oh yes, back to the movie…
When the country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl). The Żabińskis covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save the lives of hundreds from what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and her children at great risk.
It’s a familiar war story, that’s surprisingly not been brought to film yet. I am always amazed at how through one of humanities darkest moments they are always unveiling incredible stories of heroism to tell. But we now get to finally see that story in The Zookeepers Wife, which we have a new trailer for below:
The film looks like it does a solid job at portraying the period of war and the horrors of the time. The animals look good too, though its seems like they won’t feature too much as the story moves along into the war phase – a pity. I would’ve loved to have seen the monkeys steal guns from the Nazi’s, while elephant’s overrun the tanks and silently take them out. Oh, this is a true life story? Oh well, guess it’s best to just leave the animals in the background them. They’re safest that way, far away from the Nazi’s. I’m pretending those bombs missed the Zoo. Damn you Nazi’s if you lay one finger on them…
Potential animal massacre aside though the film is looking decent and particular Chastian’s performance which looks exceptional if this trailer is anything to go by.
The film, directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country), also stars Michael McElhatton, Iddo Goldberg, Goran Kostic , Shira Haas and Efrat Dor. Not much of a minor cast in term of star names, but this is a film that looks to be driven by the leads. And those animals.
The Zookeeper’s Wife will arrive in SA theaters in the first half of 2017. In the meantime you can look at another cute picture of cute a lion cub below:
Last Updated: November 21, 2016