The Zookeeper’s Wife (12)
2016 ( Czech Republic | UK | USA ) ( Biography, Drama, History )
DIRECTOR: Niki Caro
STARRING: Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Brühl
Based on the book by Diane Ackerman, Jessica Chastain is on dignified form in the true story of Antonina Zabinska who, along with her husband, sheltered Jews from the Warsaw ghetto during the Second World War. Though the premise is reminiscent of Schindler’s List, the twist here is that the way station is a zoo filled with exotic animals, attracting the unwanted attention of Nazi chief zoologist Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl).
The Zookeeper’s Wife is a visually striking experience. From watching a tiger and two lions walk down the streets of an abandoned Warsaw alley to witnessing Jewish children innocently raise their arms to be lifted onto a train that would bring them to an actual hell on earth, 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.