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The Zookeeper's Wife (2017)

Drama | 127 minutes
3,29 571 votes

Genre: War / Drama

Duration: 127 minuten

Country: United States / United Kingdom / Czech Republic

Directed by: Niki Caro

Stars: Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh and Daniel Brühl

IMDb score: 7,0 (46.971)

Releasedate: 24 March 2017

The Zookeeper's Wife plot

"They gave all they had to save all they could"

'The Zookeeper's Wife' tells the true story of Polish zookeepers Antonina and Jan Zabinski of the Warsaw Zoo. In 1939, when the Nazis invaded the country, Antonina and Jan are forced to work under the command of the German zoologist Lutz Heck. In secret, the Zabinskis decide to team up with the resistance to save hundreds of lives, with Antonina putting her and the children's lives on the line.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Antonina Żabińska

Jan Żabiński

Ryszard Żabiński (Younger)

Magda Gross

Maurycy Fraenkel

Ryszard Zabinski

Regina Kenigswein

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avatar van BBarbie


  • 12893 messages
  • 7675 votes

Within the war film genre, I prefer films that focus on the impact of the war on the daily lives of ordinary citizens, all the more so because most front or soldier films are largely similar.

I've read in a rather cynical commentary that it doesn't get exciting anywhere. It seems to me that life in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation with all its excesses was more than exciting enough in itself. In this film, the local zoo is the setting for a dramatic story about resistance, hiding, survival, alleged collaboration and the infamous ghetto. For dramatic effect, life in the zoo was rather romanticized before the arrival of the Germans, but that didn't bother me because it contrasts sharply with the anxious life during the occupation.

I think this film, which is based on the war experiences of the Żabiński family, is a beautiful document, insofar as you can find so much misery beautiful. He clearly shows what people on both sides of the good/evil divide are capable of.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van scorsese


  • 11910 messages
  • 10268 votes

Mediocre film about a couple who work in a zoo in Poland before it is taken over by the Germans. One of the many true war dramas with a beautiful story. And although the film looks good with a good cast, it doesn't really excel at anything. Of course it doesn't help that it has all been shown before and quickly becomes cliché.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van John Barry

John Barry

  • 3410 messages
  • 613 votes

This film is actually largely supported by the very strong acting of the cast. Especially Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brüh impress in this film. Chastain knows how to express her character's emotions well and Brühl plays Heck in a certain terrifying way. The scenes between these two were enjoyable. The acting of the children was also remarkably good.
The story is a somewhat loose interpretation of the facts, but the script is still reasonably well put together. However, the film is quite tame and sometimes even too sweet. Especially in the beginning, the film misses the mark a bit in terms of tone. Very nice start with the animals in the zoo, but I thought for a moment that I had set up a nice family / children's film instead of a serious drama film with an age recommendation from 16 years.
The bombing of the zoo and the burning of the ghetto are well portrayed.


dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original