The Zookeeper’s Wife
This film is definitely one to add to your list if you enjoy moving dramas about historical events. Based on the nonfiction book by Diane Ackerman, it’s an emotional tale of good rising from evil, and it’s sure to help viewers better understand the trials past generations have faced. Jessica Chastain plays Antonina Żabińska, who lives on the grounds of a Warsaw zoo that she owns with her husband, Jan (Johan Heldenbergh). Both love their furred and feathered friends deeply, but Antonina is especially adept at soothing and caring for them in times of distress.
When Germany invades Poland in 1939 and bombs shatter their animal-centered world, Antonina and Jan realize they’re the only hope for desperate Jewish refugees trying to escape Hitler’s violence. Their cavernous basement becomes a temporary home, and Antonina plays the piano upstairs to signal whether they’re safe from Nazi patrols. As it turns out, Antonina isn’t just an ‘animal whisperer’—her gift extends to everyone who needs protection within their four walls.
Should you see it? Yes, I highly recommend it! —J.J.
Viewed at Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema