7.0/10
33,357
98 user 148 critic

The Zookeeper's Wife (2017)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
The Zookeeper's Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.

Director:

Niki Caro

Writers:

Angela Workman (screenplay), Diane Ackerman (based on the book by)
Reviews
Popularity
4,831 ( 571)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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 6.6/10 X  

Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter from 1890s Brooklyn, travels to Dakota to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull and becomes embroiled in the Lakota peoples' struggle over the rights to their land.

Director: Susanna White
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Louisa Krause, Boots Southerland
Molly's Game (2017)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.

Director: Aaron Sorkin
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner
Drama | History | Romance
    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
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
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The relationship between writer AA Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, and how this became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh.

Director: Simon Curtis
Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald
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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from a drifting rowing boat.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz
Drama | 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
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother to convince his billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty to pay the ransom.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Eric and fellow warrior Sara, raised as members of ice Queen Freya's army, try to conceal their forbidden love as they fight to survive the wicked intentions of both Freya and her sister Ravenna.

Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron
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
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
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:

In a nation gripped by fear one woman finds the power to resist 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

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:

$26,127,965
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Real-life lion baby cubs were used on set. See more »

Goofs

When Antonina talks to Urszula about the rabbit, she refers to the animal as female. Later, Urszula refers to it as male and has given it a male name. Both can't be true, and presumably Antonina, being familiar with animals, is right and Urszula is wrong. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


30 of 162 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 98 user reviews »

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

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed