7.0/10
36,241
98 user 150 critic

The Zookeeper's Wife (2017)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
Keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, must save hundreds of people and animals during the Nazi invasion in WWII Poland.

Director:

Niki Caro

Writers:

Angela Workman (screenplay), Diane Ackerman (based on the book by)
Reviews
Popularity
3,718 ( 113)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Chastain ... Antonina Zabinska
Johan Heldenbergh ... Jan Zabinski
Daniel Brühl ... Lutz Heck
Timothy Radford ... Ryszard Zabinski (Younger)
Efrat Dor ... Magda Gross
Iddo Goldberg ... Maurycy Fraenkel
Shira Haas ... Urszula
Michael McElhatton ... Jerzyk
Val Maloku Val Maloku ... Ryszard Zabinski (Older)
Martha Issová ... Regina Kenigswein
Daniel Ratimorský Daniel Ratimorský ... Samuel Kenigswein
Frederick Preston ... Miecio Kenigswein
Theo Preston Theo Preston ... Stefcio Kenigswein (as Theodore Preston)
Viktoria Zakharyanova Viktoria Zakharyanova ... Stefania Keningswein (as Viktoria Zakharyanová)
Goran Kostic ... Mr. Kinszerbaum
Learn more

More Like This 

Miss Sloane (2016)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. But when taking on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds winning may come at too high a price.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith
Denial II (2016)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall
Woman in Gold (2015)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.

Director: Simon Curtis
Stars: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl
Breathe I (2017)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The inspiring true love story of Robin (Andrew Garfield) and Diana Cavendish (Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.

Director: Andy Serkis
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Hugh Bonneville
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

With instructions from her genius son's carefully crafted notebook, a single mother sets out to rescue a young girl from the hands of her abusive stepfather.

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Martell, Jacob Tremblay
The Intern I (2015)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Seventy-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.

Director: Nancy Meyers
Stars: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo
Colonia (2015)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young woman's desperate search for her abducted boyfriend draws her into the infamous Colonia Dignidad, a sect nobody has ever escaped from.

Director: Florian Gallenberger
Stars: Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, Michael Nyqvist
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on real events, Francesc Boix is a Spaniard inmate in the Nazi concentration camp of Mauthausen in Austria who tries to save the evidences of the horrors committed inside its walls.

Director: Mar Targarona
Stars: Mario Casas, Richard van Weyden, Alain Hernández
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, a forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

Director: Mark Herman
Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the aftermath of World War II, a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay, Michiel Huisman
Edit

Storyline

War brews over Warsaw in 1939, and while life is still running its course, the Germans are slowly beginning to make their presence felt, with Hitler secretly preparing for the German invasion of Poland. Under those circumstances, the young couple of Jan and Antonina Zabinski continue their daily routine as owners and keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, but soon, as German Luftwaffe's Stukas hammer the Polish capital, their life's work together with the city, will turn to ashes. However, with the zoo liquidated for the war effort and many of its animals tragically perished, what was once an animals' zoo, will now serve as a sanctuary where Antonina, the humanist veterinarian, and Jan can hide the persecuted Polish Jews in plain sight until safe houses are found. That was Jan and Antonina's formidable, yet perilous plan, who regardless of the consequences, refused to wither before the Nazi menace, took matters into their own hands and sheltered 300 Jews under the Germans' noses. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They gave all they had to save all they could See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, violence, brief sexuality, nudity and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the pieces Jessica Chastain's character plays on the piano to let the refugees know it's safe to come upstairs is 'The Swan' from 'Carnival of the Animals' by Camille Saint-Saën. See more »

Goofs

At 39 min when the pigs are arriving at the zoo, behind the actors you can clearly see a truck made in the 2000's. See more »

Quotes

Jan Zabinski: I was raised with these people. Gentile, Jewish. It didn't matter to my family. It never mattered to me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Za scénou: Martha Issová (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Passe Lointain Op. 72 #17
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Jessica Chastain
See more »

User Reviews

A welcome addition to Holocaust cinema.
28 March 2017 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"The risk of the Holocaust is not that it will be forgotten, but that it will be embalmed and surrounded by monuments and used to absolve all future sins." Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman

With no end to the sad stories of the Holocaust, now The Zookeeper's Wife adds another drama out of Warsaw in the early 1940's as the Nazis begin to move Jews into its ghetto and eventually to concentration camps. The truth-based tale is another worthy entry in Holocaust cinema, along with Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008).

No matter the similarities with Schindler's List (1993) and Inglourious Basterds (2009), this drama is just as nail biting and terrible as the best of them. Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain) watches over The Warsaw Zoo with her doctor husband, Jan (Johan Heldenbergh). Eventually the Nazi command, personified by randy zoologist Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), takes over. Antonina's empathy for the animals is an antidote to Nazi indifference. I dare you not to be moved by the lyrical opening as she rides her bicycle through the zoo in early morning calling endearingly to the animals or her rescuing a suffocating baby elephant.

Meanwhile, after being mercilessly bombed, the remnants of the zoo serve as hideaway and eventual transport for hundreds of Jews. Director Niki Caro does an effective job creating tension by cutting between daily activity on the street and the hidden Jews. The concentration on Antonia's face allows for multiple dramatic notes as she navigates between her animals and Jewish charges.

In fact, another graceful artistic direction is not overdoing the built- in figurative comparison between those hiding and those innocent animals, which are always in the open and vulnerable. A sweet, poetic circumstance usually contrasts with the unimaginable horror. The animals serve as a subtle reminder of lost innocence: "You look in their eyes," and you know exactly what is in their hearts." Antonina

The Zookeeper's Wife is a first-rate entry in the chronicles of The Holocaust and a powerful reason to continue to tell the story lest it happen again.


33 of 165 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 98 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Czech Republic | UK | USA

Language:

English | German | Hebrew

Release Date:

7 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Zookeeper's Wife See more »

Filming Locations:

Prague, Czech Republic See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,288,835, 2 April 2017

Gross USA:

$17,571,660

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,152,835
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed