Is “The Zookeeper’s Wife” tame? Popcorn Bag Home Video review!

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Focus Features


The WWII era drama “The Zookeeper’s Wife” tells the compelling true story of Antonia Żabiński who, along with her husband Jan, saved many Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

Jessica Chastain plays Antonia and Belgian actor Johan Heldenbergh plays her husband Jan, two zooolgists who used their positions at the Warsaw Zoo to smuggle Jews out of the nearby ghetto, secretly board them for months at a time and then use the zoo’s elaborate animal tunnels to move them to safety. They managed this all under the watchful eye of the Nazi forces who were also using the zoo for other purposes.


Chastain gives a strong performance and the movie has exceptional production values. The only downside is that this movie, under the direction of Niki Caro ("Whale Rider"), never quite manages to create the kind of tension and gravity that this fascinating story deserves. It’s interesting when it should have been riveting.


“The Zookeeper’s Wife” is a noble effort that honors the memory of people who were later recognized by the State of Isreal as The Polish Righteous Among the Nations. But cinematically, it lacks the emotional power and immediacy of a similar story, “Shindler’s List.”


RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags


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