The Zookeeper’s Wife is not your typical war movie. In place of battles and military drama, what this movie does is give the audience a different perspective on how such a massive event can affect ordinary people.
The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the story of The Warsaw Zoo during the German invasion of Poland, and how it changed from a happy place with happy animals to an important piece of resisting the intimidating forces of Nazi Germany.
Once the war breaks out and the Nazis make their way through Poland, the zoo takes on a new purpose; protecting the Jewish people of Poland.
With their animals either killed by the war or taken to Berlin, the zoo’s owners Antonina and Jan Zabinski (Jessica Chastain and Johan Heldenbergh) are forced to allow German soldiers to use their property as a base camp.
Not being able to stomach what’s happening to their Jewish friends and fellow Polish citizens, Antonina and Jan make a moral decision to do what they can to help.
Under the German’s noses they smuggle those whose lives are most in danger into their zoo, and hide them until they can resettle them.
The Zookeeper’s Wife is based on a true story, and a perspective not often considered when we hear stories about World War 2.
This is a story of ordinary citizens who just can’t sit back and allow injustices to happen, and it’s compelling all the way through.
Through the sacrifices the Zabinski family have to make, and the danger they put themselves in, The Zookeeper’s Wife keeps you on the edge of your seat.
What this movie highlights is that there is more to war than the war, and that ordinary people are living in a life-or-death situation 24/7.
The Zookeeper’s Wife uses the natural tension of the situation really well to deliver a stressful and compelling movie experience, and is a great example of human decency proving it’s worth and persisting through the worst of times.