Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Movie Review: the Zoo Keeper's Wife

This is a movie that makes you think.  I really enjoyed it.  I am totally engrossed with movies about nazi atrocities, and the Holocaust.  In this case the movie deals with the Warsaw ghetto.  Antonina (Jessica Chastain) and Jan Zabinski (Johan Elderbergh) run the Warsaw Zoo.  The zoo was bombed with the initial Nazi incursion into Warsaw.  More were killed by both sides as the animals were dangerous, and many had escaped.  Some were rescued and returned to their pens.
After the Nazi take over, Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl) (of the Berlin Zoo) takes many animals for safe keeping to Berlin.  However he returns.  He has a thing for Antonina.  Being a Nazi he controls them in a way.
The Zabinskis see what is happening to their friends in the ghetto.  They at first bring a friend to stay in their cellar.  However they become more involved, bringing many to their home, using a garbage collection.  they need the scraps for feeding pigs, to feed the Nazis.  Something they can do with the zoo pens.  However it also acts as cover for the escape of many Jews from the ghetto.
The would eventually help hundreds, and lose only two who were murdered.
Jan eventually joins the Polish resistance.  He is shot, and Antonina has no idea what has come of him.  In this atmosphere, the Russians are coming and the Nazis are about to fall.  Lutz discovers the operation, and also controls the family.  With that power over the family, it is amazing they escape unscathed.
Disclaimer: this film is rated PG 13.  It does have war violence against people and animals.  It also has brief nudity.

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