The Zookeeper’s Wife ~ Movie Review
Synopsis of the film supplied by Focus Features:
“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, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care.
When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Golden Globe Award nominee Daniel Brühl of Captain America: Civil War).
To fight back on their own terms, the Żabińskis 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.”
I love history. I love to read about history, hear about history, learn about history, watch movies about history. Anything that has to do with some kind of history, I will eat it up! While some may find it a bore, I find it exhilarating. And what I find most interesting and important is how history is accurately portrayed and how well the story is retold. We are fortunate to live in a world that supplies a great wealth of knowledge at the touch of our finger tips, whether it be through the internet, a book, or a movie. And what I found most splendid about The Zookeeper’s Wife was how they were able to tell the story of these individuals, Antonina and Jan Żabińskis and the lives that they courageously saved, through the eyes of a lens. We were able to whitness their braverism and admire it wholeheartly by the way this film was done. I felt so much emotion throughout this movie. Saddness, laughter, love, fear, anger. If a movie can make you feel all that, then I count that as a very well done movie.
This story of the Żabińskis’s is one that is missing from the history books and one that should have been there. It was a story of how a common family save so many lives during a horrible time history but there is so much more to it. The Żabińskis’s showed us, as the film portrayed, that no matter who you are, you have the ability to make a difference. I found that to be incredibily inspiring and gave me a great appreciation for what the Żabińskis’s did.
Not only did this film have such incredible hidden meaning, it was very well done. I found the acting to be so utterly believable, I had so much love for the characters as well as hate for some others. What this film did was not shy away from fact and truth. They showed us in some way how the Warsaw ghetto truly was. What these people had to endure for so long, and not out of freewill. I have to admit some scenes were hard to watch, but if they had been taken out, I feel the movie would have lost its realness.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and was so thankful to Focus Features for giving me the opportunity to see a prescreening of it. I plan on to continue reading the book as well. I’ve been telling almost everyone about this movie and how important I feel it is. I always have a great appreciation for movies made from real life events of history; they always teach you something, show you something, and make you think. Most importantly they tell someone’s story that would else have been forgotten.
The film hits theaters Friday March 31st!
Until next time,