The Zookeeper's Wife Trailer (2017)

Trailer for Focus Features' The Zookeeper's Wife.

The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh of The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are stunned – and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl of Captain America: Civil War). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.

While both Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl portray foreign characters, one may be more believable than the other. Chastain was born in a small town near Sonoma, California and raised in Sacramento. Brühl was actually born in Germany. Brühl was finally introduced to mainstream U.S. audiences with his breakout role as Fredrick Zoller, a German war hero in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

The film takes place at the Warsaw Zoo. The current Warsaw Zoo opened back in 1928. The zoo covers about 100 acres in central Warsaw, and sees 600,000 visitors annually. It is home to over 4,000 animals representing more than 500 species.

The book  "The Zookeeper's Wife" which the film is based on, was published in 2007. On February 10, 2008, the book was number 13 on The New York Times non-fiction best seller list. Author Diane Ackerman has written many other book and has had three New York Times bestsellers: The Human Age (2014), The Zookeeper's Wife (2008), and A Natural History of the Senses (1990).

There are films that keep you guessing until the end and then there are films like this where you basically know how it will go. Everything will be great in the beginning and then everything will take a turn for the worse when the Germans attack. And then we will see the struggles Antonina faces while trying to hide refugees at her zoo and what horrific things happen to her for trying to be a good person.

The fact that this film is based on a true story gives it that extra appeal. In a time of such darkness, there were people willing to sacrifice everything to help a few others. And this is what makes humans great and what could translate into a telling story that ends up being captivating.

2 min 21 sec


Posted On
November 17, 2016
Niki Caro

Angela Workman

Focus Features

March 31, 2017
Jessica Chastain
Daniel Brühl
Johan Heldenbergh
Michael McElhatton
Trailer Tracks
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