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.
A true story of survival, as a young couple's chance encounter leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime as they face one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.
As the German Fascists expand their borders, scorching Europe from end to end, two brave Czechs of the Resistance prepare for a suicide mission to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the hideous mastermind behind the "Final Solution".
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.
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
"The Zookeeper's Wife" is based on the lives of Antonina and Jan Zabinski, keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, during the German occupation of Poland during World War II. I class this movie in the same league as "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" and "It's A Beautiful Life". These are movies which give viewers credit for having a brain as evidenced by a lack of gratuitous violence, blood, gore, and killing.
We don't need to see animals being blown up or girls being raped to know these things happened and were horrible. I don't find graphic images of such things "entertaining" anyway so I appreciated the lack of shock and horror. Instead the writers and director effectively allude to the horror without abusing me, the viewer. Some will say the movie is a sanitized view of WWII and they would be right. But it didn't diminish the impact of the story, which is the entire point of the film.
The story is one of kindness, bravery, and resilience in the face of Nazi evil. It is simply told in a linear fashion. The movie is well filmed and well acted. As entertainment goes it's good. As far as "message", it's as deep as the viewer wants it to be. I found myself thinking, "What would I do in a similar situation?" And if I find myself asking myself that question rather than turning away I call that successful story-telling. A good movie doesn't need to beat up the audience to drive home it's point.
So, mostly I just wanted to provide a review applauding the restraint of the movie maker. For too long I've had little choice in movies I'd want to watch since so many of them feature explosions, gunplay, graphic scenes of murder and rape, gratuitous use of obscenity, profanity, and vulgarity, and rarely give me credit for having any kind of discernment as they beat me over the head with some heavy-handed "message" usually about something with which I completely disagree. "The Zookeeper's Wife" doesn't employ any of these tired, ugly devices. I didn't once feel manipulated. It's not a perfect movie but it was entertaining and left me with plenty to ponder and talk about with others.
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