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Plot: The Zookeeper's Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. Runtime: 127 mins Release Date: 07 Apr 2017
Shows how even in the worst of times, some people are kind-hearted beyond belief (by rannynm)
This film is truly incredible because it shows how kind-hearted people are. Given that the movie takes place in Poland during World War II, there is a lot of tension among the Jewish and German residents because the Jewish Holocaust is occurring. But, the main characters, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, still manage to take care of their zoo and try to keep the animals safe. In the midst of World War II, Adolf Hitler's power permeates in Poland, specifically in the Warsaw ghetto, where there are many Jewish inhabitants. Living in Warsaw is Antonina Zabinski Jessica Chastain , her husband Jan <more>
Zabinski Johan Heldenbergh and their son. They are in charge of the Warsaw Zoo, where any animal you can imagine lives. Bombs are hitting the Warsaw Zoo, killing many of the animals. The zoo is almost completely destroyed, and the Zabinski's decide to use it as a Jewish sanctuary. Jessica Chastain's portrayal of Antonina is quite believable. Antonina is a beautiful woman who loves animals more than she loves herself and she does her best to ensure that everything goes as planned. Johan Heldenbergh, who plays Jan, is very brave. He acts as an assistant to a German soldier and looks for creative ways to transport the Jews to safety. They put their lives on the line to save others, which truly is remarkable. The Warsaw Zoo looks astonishing. It is huge! There are so many beautiful trees, and there are animals walking around with Antonina. I want to now have my own zoo someday! My favorite part of the movie is when Antonina is riding her bicycle and she calls her camel to walk alongside her. This camel is hilarious because he makes strange noises and he hops so quickly. He acts as a police patrol for the zoo, which I think is extremely funny. The message of this film is to help others. Antonina and Jan Zabinski try to help hundreds of Jews stay safe and do not put themselves first. Antonina and Jan live in imminent danger themselves and all they can focus on is making a difference, which I admire greatly. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is so inspiring and there are animals in it, for which I have a great soft spot. Given that there are many casualties among animals and people, I recommend this film to ages 18 to adult. This film is not afraid to depict historical reality, so it may be difficult to watch some scenes, but this movie is now one of my favorites. Watch this film if you enjoy history and films that are based on true stories. It comes out on March 31, 2017 in theaters so, make sure to keep your eyes open for it. It is a movie you certainly don't want to miss. Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Jessica Chastain is one of those rare breeds of actors that goes from strength to strength. And I am pretty sure she picks the roles offered to her very carefully. Being an avid fan of true story-based movies, and also having a strong knowledge of WWII history, I knew immediately that I had to see the movie as soon as I read about it. And I was not let down at all. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, which was well scripted although as I read somewhere that the intimate relationship of the protagonist, Antonina Chastain and the antagonist, Heck Bruhl , is exaggerated in the movie. Nonetheless <more>
I loved it and highly recommend it and give it a full 10!
Excellent Depiction of Pre and Post War Europe (by virtual-93888)
I have seen a lot of WW2 films - many about the Holocaust - I was immediately struck by the attention that this film paid to life in Warsaw before the invasion of Poland. The story line draws the viewer in with its depiction of the relationships between the zookeeper couple and the animals. Together, they struggle for life and everyone gets along. When Poland is eventually invaded by Germany,this makes the brutality of the war all the more shocking. The innocence of the unsuspecting, terrified zoo animals puts a magnifying glass on how the humans must have felt. This film does a great job of <more>
explaining how so many people were caught in the web and unwilling to attempt escape until it was too late.The film is well acted and pays great attention to detail. Several of the characters age before your eyes not only from the passage of time but from the extreme stress they are under. For 2 hours I completely forgot about the outside world which is what I most want from a movie. This is a very emotional film and not for those who are very sensitive and at the same time it should be seen by as many people as possible. The actions of the zookeeper's family are inspiring and moving. It's a nice reminder of what it looks like to do the right thing.
Easily one of the Best Films of 2017 (by restlesstymes)
The Zookeepers Wife is the true story of Antonina Żabiński, her husband Jan and the Warsaw Zoo they ran in Poland right at the start of World War II. Jan was a respected zoologist and scientist at the time, and Antonina was an equally respected author in her own right. With the bombings in Poland and the Nazi's vying for control of the country, the Żabiński's do all they can to save as many people as they can, putting themselves and their own son at great risk. This is the story of two people, that could not stand by and stand idly by while innocent people die. George Bernard Shaw <more>
once said:"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity" and this story is the essence of those words.Nikki Caro, whose brilliant direction has spearheaded multiple highly acclaimed movies probably best known for North Country , helmed this film.. Caro is able to reflect humanity, sincerity and earnestness in her films, which captivates and entangles the viewer. That's the beauty of film isn't it? To be totally swept up in another person's story, another one's life. Caro's directing prowess brings to mind the ideology of the male gaze vs. the female gaze in films, and while I won't get into detail about that here, Caros perspective is fresh and her films are unique. Different people perceive things differently, and some directors present films through their eyes lens, essentially seeing and interpreting the story with their own eyes and biases . With Nikki Caro though, I feel as though I'm witnessing a life lived, purely, rather than someone's perspective of that life. I think that's why I appreciate her directing style so much, there is clarity and candor in the way she captures the film and that honestly pulls you in. Caro is a superb director and I cannot understand why the woman has only directed a handful of films, we need her making more films! So you all know how much I love Jessica Chastian, but I left this film loving her and her talent even more. She is the only, I mean the ONLY woman that could've played Antonina. Jessica is a shining light of energy, power, compassion and love and I'd imagine Antonina was the same. Animals know who to trust instinctively, and Chastain's kinship with them spills out of the film and into your heart, this makes her portrayal of Antonina all the more palpable. In many scenes it seemed like Antonina was bathed in light, and I appreciate those subtleties because I think it represents her inner light. I know it seems so silly but I always feel that these little things directors do are very deliberate and calculating. I love and appreciate the little things. I like to see it as the physical light shines on her the way her inner light shined on all the people she saved. Jessica Chastain is by far one of the best actresses working today, and I predict its only a matter of time before she takes an Oscar home.Johan Heldenbergh, the Danish actor who played her husband was great too, he and Chastain were a force to be reckoned with and had great chemistry. Michael McElhatton was also fantastic in his supporting role as Jerzyk, I recognized him from Game of Thrones where he played the conniving Roose Bolton. He is a very talented actor and shined brightly in his supporting role. Also, Daniel Brühl is an exceedingly good actor, he is very good at playing a certain kind of role. That's all I'm going to say about that because I don't want to ruin it for anyone!The Zookeeper's Wife was tough to watch in some parts, but its in tragedy and hardship that hope thrives. This film reminded me that there are angels around us every day, there are good people in this world, no matter how bad it must seem. There is always hope. This message is powerful and really resonates, right now. For some it might seem hopeless, but there are always people that WILL do the right thing even when their life hangs in the balance. I felt filled with compassion and empathy; as I said before I know it seems like compassion is something people can no longer comprehend, but that's not the case. I promise! It is still possible to find love and comfort in the darkest of times. Love is all around us. We must be the vessel through which hope and love spreads. Antonina believed this with her whole heart which is why she and Jan did what they did. There are brave people all around us: fighting for our rights, fighting for theirs, their family, their country - bravery comes in so many forms. This film reflects this: there is bravery in combat and 'silent' bravery. One is not greater than the other.Another thing I want to make sure I note is the effects animals have on healing. It's widely known that animals help people heal. You can read more about that online if you are so inclined, but I think it's so poignant and it pulled on my heart because I can identify on a personal level. My dog Tasha was a rescue from a puppy mill, my best friend had just lost his dog to cancer, I just lost my cat also to cancer, and here I am thinking we saved her when she really saved US. I wanted to note it here, but it will make so much more sense when you see the film. All in all it was great and plus it was incredibly well done, by an incredibly talented director with an amazing cast. This is a spectacular story, more than worthy of a trip to the theater. Go see it, and support women directors!
Grade: A-Rating: PG-13, although I would give this movie an R rating due to its grim nature and two glimpses of a topless woman. 126 minutes longIn a Nutshell: This sobering film is based on the true story that unfolded in Poland during World War II. It's an adaptation of Diane Ackerman's bestseller The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story and does a very good job illustrating different kinds of cages: for animals, Jews in the Ghetto and on trains headed to concentration camps, small-minded Nazis imprisoned by Hitler's terror, and more. Uplifting theme: Heroism, sacrifice, friendship <more>
Humanity We will never know all of the stories of the many brave men and women who risked so much to save others during "the war to end all wars."Things I liked: Jessica Chastain did an excellent job as Antonina Zabinska. Her emotional performance made me cry several times. I loved seeing her with the animals and she seemed to genuinely care for them. Oscar- worthy? Should be. How they managed the animals in the zoo is truly impressive. How did they get the animals to do all those things they did? You get to see people cuddle with skunks, lion cubs, elephants, a symbolic bunny aww , and more. I loved the little camel that ran freely around the zoo. The film does a very good job demonstrating the cruelty of Hitler and his Nazis. They destroyed soooo much that was good in this world. Daniel Bruhl is slickly evil, but even still not quite as menacing as he could be. He has too likable of a face. Before the credits roll, the screen displays text where you can read about what happened after the last scene, including the good news SPOILER ALERT that the Zabinska's zoo has survived as the Warsaw Zoo. Critics complain that the movie isn't realistic enough, as in .they want it to be more gruesome and bloody? I thought it had so much gore and violence that it should have been rated R. Besides, we REALLY don't have to see people's heads get blown off in every disgusting detail to know what's happening and be affected by it. Sometimes we see the gore and brutality in this film, but sometimes we just hear gun shots and the horror is implied. Both were equally effective, making the audience I sat with groan, jump, and gasp every time. It was clever and symbolic that a piano was used to give both comfort and warning to the Jews hiding in the zoo. SPOILER ALERT: I thought the scene where the children innocently trusted Jan to lift them up into the train was powerful and heartbreaking. It made me think of the many refugees that are in the world today. If you would like to find out how you can help, check out JustServe.Things I didn't like: Critics don't seem to like this movie very much, but I've noticed that most of those who don't are men. Just sayin... Everyone in the audience I sat with seemed to be really touched, based on the crying and sniffling I heard around me in the dark theater. It's not on par with the epic Schindler's List, but I appreciated the perspective from a woman's lived experience in this story. There was no humor to break up the tension. It was 100% drama. 80% tension. One of the best WWII/Holocaust movies I've ever seen and one that was able to mix humor with incredible drama was Life Is Beautiful It still haunts me.Interesting lines:"Maybe that's why I love animals so much. You look in their eyes and you know exactly what's in their hearts. They're not like people." – Antonina "A human zoo." – Antonina "Whatever we do, we have to hide it in plain sight." – Jan Zabinski Johan Heldenbergh "You are a wonder. You are Eve in the garden." – Jan "People always want to run when they don't know what's coming." - AntoninaTips for parents: Both animals and people are slaughtered in this movie. In other words, this is NOT a family-friendly movie. It is powerful and only appropriate for older teens. You see dead, bloody animal carcasses. You see a bloodied, stunned girl after she has been raped and you see another man attempt to rape a woman. There is also a passionate scene in bed, although clothes are on. You see some animals mating while Nazis cheer on. There is a lot of violence and suffering.MOVIE REVIEW [email protected]
This flick surely is intended to provide Survival Tips . . . (by oscaralbert)
. . . to those Americans foolish enough NOT to flee to Civilized Countries such as those in Scandanavia during the three months between Red Commie KGB Chief Vlad "The Mad Russia" Putin rigging the 2016 U.S. Election and his Puppet Rump actually invading Washington, DC. Everyone knows that "History Repeats Itself," and THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE dutifully depicts the complacent Polish Jews of the 1930s promising to return to their homes after "this" Hitler's Third Reich is over. As we all know, unless their ashes miraculously drifted back like homing pigeons <more>
from Adolph's Death Camp Crematoria to their burned-out original residences, these proved to be hollow, unfulfilled promises. ZOOKEEPER'S final credits state that Warsaw LOST 94% of its overall population by the end of World War Two, and every move of the Odoriferous Rump\Scents Gang suggests that Putin is shooting for a similar "culling" percentage of Americans in our Once-Great USA Homeland. ZOOKEEPER'S "Jan" doesn't resort to Armed Resistance until its Waaaay Too Late to save the doomed 94% of his community. Certainly this film is urging US to begin putting up a stronger, more timely Resistance to the Putin\Rump Mob NOW so that these Traitorous U.S. Fifth Column Turncoats are not allowed to consign We True Blue Normal Loyal Patriotic Union Label Citizens to the ash bin as were the sheep-like Poles and Jews!
A rare movie rated triple-F... by IMDb! (by dave-mcclain)
Are you ready for my first "F Rated" review? What? You don't know what the "F" movie rating is? Well, to be honest, neither did I, until literally a few short minutes ago. I was doing my usual post-viewing / pre-reviewing research before writing about my most recent theatrical experience and I came across the "F rating" – on the last day of Women's History Month, no less! First created in 2014 by Holly Tarquini, executive director of the Bath Film Festival, an F rating designates a movie which either has a female director, a female writer or a female in <more>
a starring role in her own right. I came across this information after I noticed that the historical drama "The Zookeeper's Wife" PG-13, 2:04 not only stars a female Jessica Chastain in the title role, but was also written by a female Angela Workman AND directed by a female Niki Caro . But wait. Is there a rating for a movie like THAT? Yup! It's called the "Triple F"! Fortunately, before I settled for a lame proclamation like "Hail to the ladies" to start this paragraph, I learned about the F rating and the triple-F rating. But this F rating business isn't just observed at the Bath Film Festival and, as of today, by me. The mother of all Movie Fan websites, IMDb, has added the F, and triple-F ratings to their clickable search criteria! Only a little over 100 of IMDb's 4.1 million film and TV episode titles carries a triple-F rating, but with films like "The Piano", "Clueless", "Monster", "Brave", "Pitch Perfect 2", "The Edge of Seventeen" and "The Zookeeper's Wife" on that list, it's sure to grow.Jan Żabiński Johan Heldenbergh was the Director of the Warsaw Zoo in the summer of 1939, with his wife, Antonina Żabińska Chastain helping him care for the animals. The couple lived in a villa on the zoo grounds with their young son, Ryszard played by Tim Radford and then by Val Maloku . The family is happy with their lives and the zoo is thriving until September 1, 1939. The sudden although not entirely unexpected German invasion of Poland heavily damaged the zoo's structures and killed many of its animals. With winter approaching, Poland's new Nazi overlords have decided to close the zoo and exterminate the remaining animals. A professional acquaintance, Lutz Heck Daniel Brühl , the Director of the Berlin Zoo and the Third Reich's preeminent zoologist, offers to save some of the Warsaw Zoo's most prized species by transferring them to Berlin. With mixed emotions, Jan and Antonina agree. Months later, they approach Heck now an SS officer stationed in Warsaw and ask if they can turn their zoo into a pig farm. Seeing this move as a new food source for German soldiers and as an opportunity to conduct animal breeding experiments in an attempt to bring back extinct animal species, Heck agrees to keep the zoo open. He thinks of this solution as a "win-win", but Jan and Antonina have ulterior motives. Jan and Antonina have already started using their villa and the buildings and tunnels at the zoo to protect local Jews from the Nazis' increasing abuses. The pigs on their farm are fed garbage that comes from the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Nazis have consolidated the city's remaining Jewish population. When Jan drives his truck to the edge of the ghetto, he smuggles Jewish children out by hiding them under the garbage that he is collecting for his pigs. When additional methods are employed and with a little additional help from like-minded locals , adults and even entire families are taken to the zoo grounds, where Antonina and Ryszard do the lion's share of the work caring for and hiding their "guests". Although some of the Jews quickly pass through, others stay for long periods of time, requiring an elaborate system of measures designed to keep everyone safe. It's a system that becomes increasingly dangerous as time wears on, the number of Jews in hiding increases – and Heck comes around more and more, ostensibly for his breeding experiments, but also to flirt with Antonina. "The Zookeeper's Wife" is a fairly original and very engaging Holocaust story. The story arc is similar to the Best Picture and Best Director Oscar winner "Schindler's List", but still has its own unique elements. Like Steven Spielberg's 1993 masterpiece, here is an ordinary citizen using the workplace to hide Jews from the Nazis and having to cozy up to a Nazi officer, but this is a Holocaust movie with no concentration camp scenes and the ways in which the Jews are hidden and smuggled out has never been used in any Holocaust movie that I can remember. Adapted from the 2007 book of the same name by Diane Ackerman, this is a true story that's based on Żabiński's own unpublished wartime diary, which is one reason that this film is so impactful. The other reasons include Workman's smart script, Caro's sensitive and well-paced direction and the performances – especially from the Oscar-nominated Chastain "Hail to the ladies" . More than just giving Movie Fans a hard-to-believe-it's-true story, this film accomplishes some other important things too. It entertains, it educates, it impresses, it adds to cinema's growing list of triple-F rated movies and it brings us nearer to the time when it won't matter who made the movie – just that it's a really good one. "A-"
A wonderful true story of optimism, heroism, kindness, and bravery. All set during the grimest of times. The title of the film may be misleading for some. Don't expect a lovely romantic film about the wife of a zookeeper. While part of that is true the zoo doesn't have much to do with the premise of the film but is a key element in the rescue of hundred' s of Jews during World War II in Warsaw, Poland.The film is about an audacious zookeeper played by Jessica Chastain. It is 1939 in Warsaw and her zoo gets invaded by Nazi forces. Her animals are either killed or taken away and her <more>
zoo becomes a bit of a docking station for German troops. She and her husband are appalled by the killings of Jews so they devise a strategy to house many people and transport them to freedom. To top it all off, this is based on an incredible true story.Jessica Chastain is fantastic as usual, accent and all. Her performance has real hear. Daniel Brugl also excels in playing a despicable villain. The score is powerful and really complements the films emotional moments well. The film is two plus hours but just flies by. It never loses a beat from start to finish and there are moments that really get you on the edge of your seat or cringe at some of the hard to swallow moments.There are many moments in the film that are un-comfortable as you would expect with a Holocaust era film. The film has to have dark and sorrowful moments but it builds to something wonderful near the end. The film will pull at your emotions which is a good indication of a powerful film. It does this without ever really getting overly sappy or overly sentimental.While this film doesn't tread any new cinematic ground, It does what needs to be done and it does it right. The story of the brave zookeepers who risked everything out of the goodness of their hearts is a riveting and heartfelt story that needed to be experienced. I love Chastain and think she nails another strong performance.8/10
A beautifully filmed story of heroism under the Nazi occupation of Poland. (by CineMuseFilms)
The diversity of Holocaust-themed movies has increased over recent years as filmmakers try different storytelling approaches to keep alive our collective memory of what happened. One film that has divided the critics is The Zoo Keeper's Wife 2016 . While most of this genre uses graphic realism to confront large-scale human carnage and moral dystopia, this beautifully filmed story tells how 300 Jewish lives were saved by the owners of the Warsaw Zoo.The film opens in 1939 with stunning photography of an idyllic existence in the charming Warsaw Zoo. Owners Antonina Jessica Chastain and <more>
Jan Johan Heldenbergh are devoted zoologists who love their animals and each other. There are many touching scenes of physical affection that portray trust and understanding across the human-animal divide. The peace is soon shattered by Nazi bombing and there are many disturbing scenes of animal destruction. Soon after the Nazis arrive, the Zoo's best breeding specimens are sent to Berlin under Hitler's zoologist Lutz Heck Daniel Brühl . With Nazi soldiers needing housing, the Zoo is under threat but saved when Antonina obtains Heck's support to convert it into a pig farm to feed Nazi soldiers. He becomes a frequent visitor to the Zoo and his sexual overtures towards Antonina means she must keep him charmed to save the Zoo. As the atrocities against Polish Jews escalate, Antonina and Jan hatch a plan to use garbage trucks to smuggle Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to freedom via Zoo tunnels. The story focuses on the dangers of hiding the Jews and the horror facing those who are loaded into cattle-trucks for transportation to Hitler's Final Solution.The critical ambivalence towards this film dwells on its aesthetic treatment of the opening scenes and what some argue is Chastain's saintly characterisation of Antonina. While the cinematography is superb from beginning to end, it does adopt an excessively sugary style in the pre-Nazi- occupation part of the story. The opening scenes of Antonina cycling through the zoo, personally greeting the caged and free-roaming animals, smiling and waving to all of humanity, are both beautiful but incongruous for the story we know is about to unfold. From the extraordinary scenes of Antonina saving a new-born elephant in front of its distressed parents to the harrowing escape scenes, the film almost deifies the heroine for her goodness towards others. But this are directing issues rather than acting. Chastain's performance is excellent across the range of emotions she portrays and she is a brightly lit beacon in a film that could easily have been depressingly bleak.The Zoo Keepers Wife is a worthy addition to an honourable genre that includes the multi-award winning Schindler's List 1993 . It communicates the larger Holocaust narrative while keeping its scenes of human carnage and dystopia off-screen. In an age of audience desensitisation, it is ironic that viewers can be emotionally touched more deeply by the death of animals than humans. This is a story of courage and triumph told, from a woman's viewpoint, with top-tier production values in filming, acting, and narrative. It is also an important part of Polish history. In more recent times, Antonina and Jan were decorated as national heroes and the re-built Warsaw Zoo still stands as a legacy to their achievements.