28 November 2017

”The Zookeeper's Wife"

Set in Poland just before Germany's invasion in 1939, we are introduced to Jan and Antonina Żabiński, who run the Warsaw Zoo. Everything is sweetness and light as Antonina is seen cycling around the zoo, followed by a young camel, while stopping off to feed various animals. But this idyll is soon to be shattered and it isn't long before we see German bombs falling on the zoo.

With the animals mostly destroyed by the Germans, we see Jan and Antonina turn their attention to the plight of the Jewish people, who have been rounded up by the Nazis into a ghetto. At great risk they first shelter a close friend, but soon develop a strategy to help many others. The venture becomes even more daring when, helped by an official in the ghetto, Jan obtains papers enabling him to take workers out through the gates. In this way hundreds are helped.

Inspired by a true story this film once again shows how ordinary people risked their lives to help the Jews during the war.