The Zookeeper's Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Zabinska and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski, have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When the Germans invade their country, they are forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck. To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance.
Publisher: [Canada] :, Elevation Pictures,, [2017]
Branch Call Number: DVD MOVIE ZOO
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,region 1,rda
digital,optical,surround,Dolby Digital 5.1,rda
1 videodisc (126 minutes) : sound, colour ; 4 3/4 inches


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 14, 2018

Directed by Niki Caro in 2007 based on Diane Ackerman's non-fiction book of the same name, this war-time docudrama shows how Jan and Antonina Żabiński rescued hundreds of Jews from the Germans by hiding them in their Warsaw zoo during World War II.
The film appears like "Schindler's List" with animals.
It turns out to be a rarity among Holocaust films because it reflects on the female perspective on war and the struggle to protect every living soul---strangers and friends alike.

Mar 13, 2018

As mentioned below another good performance from Jessica Chastain as well many others in this movie including numerous domesticated "wild" animals. This is another movie demonstrating the brutality of the Nazi occupants of an adjacent country. Daniel Bruhl plays the part of an SS zoologist who claims to be the top of his field. The subtlety of his initial concerns for the Warsaw zoo and its inhabitants morphs into what history has taught us to believe was the true nature of the monster that was the SS. To say more about this might slip into spoiler territory. Thumbs up for The Zookeeper's Wife.

Mar 09, 2018

The true story is so much better and I was a little disappointed that they never showed a photo of the two people who saved over 300 people, or a photo of the real people they saved at the end. The wife came across as very childlike mentally and lived in a very privileged protected bubble. Continuously putting everyone at risk, by having peaked the sexual interest of the German zoologist. She was portrayed as if she thought she could sleep her way out of everything. Which I just can't believe of women in Poland at that time, and I found that demeaning to the true people.

Jan 19, 2018

Great movie! Super sad, but I really enjoyed it. Seeing people treated badly always touches my heart and I think it is important to be aware that this happened and still happens in places. Highly recommend this movie!

lt_bibliosara Jan 10, 2018

After I read the book, I decided that I had to watch the movie. I'm glad I did. Although the movie can be really hard to watch at times, just like the book was at times difficult to read, it was very well done. It was a bit on the slow side considering the subject matter, but I think they represented the characters and major events pretty well. I was disappointed that they added some things in that were not known to be true (the extent of Antonina's relationship with Heck, for example). It did not add anything to the story and was only used for drama, which I did not appreciate. There was plenty enough drama that they could have added that was accurate.
Otherwise, I think Jessica Chastain and Johan Heldenbergh were excellent as Antonina and Jan Jabinski. These individuals did amazing things throughout the war, and I am so grateful that we are able to honor their memory be remembering the lengths they went to extend a little humanity-and a lot of hope-to so many people.

Jan 05, 2018

I read and LOVED the book. I actually visited Warsaw after reading it. However...and, I never say this...the movie was even better. Jessica Chastain did an award-winning job.

Jan 01, 2018

I always are interesting in watching movie based on true stories. And I admire and honor the people who did great things for human rights. The production is well done.

VaughanPLDonnalee Dec 29, 2017

I thought this movie was very good and Jessica Chastain was excellent.

Dec 27, 2017

I found it hard to follow the dialogue either from accents or poor sound recording. An end note of the movie advises that 300 Jews were saved from the Warsaw Ghetto through the zoo escape route.

Dec 17, 2017

I couldn't watch it. Did want to see animal brutalized. Based on a true storey. Highly rated by those who sit through it.

View All Comments


Add Notices

lt_bibliosara Jan 10, 2018

Sexual Content: A young girl is raped off-camera. We see her afterward in a graphic depiction. Some brief female nudity and sexual content between adults.

lt_bibliosara Jan 10, 2018

Violence: Two individuals are killed in cold blood. Dead animals are portrayed after a bombing.

Oct 07, 2017

Violence: Nazis execute two women in cold blood; Jews are forced out of their homes by deliberate arson.

Oct 07, 2017

Other: Misogyny: two Nazi soldiers rape an underage girl; another pretends to shoot a woman's young son as payback for her sexual rejection of him.


Add a Quote

Oct 25, 2017

It's not your fault. You have always been so good to me, Miss. You and your husband. Now, I'll be good to you. Be careful.
Dr. Korczak... Where are they taking you?
-We are going to a land called Ro, to visit a great magician there. His name is Zi. He's a very good friend of mine.
Yes. Dr. Korczak, my car is outside the gate. It's just outside, just there.
-It's impossible. I need your help now, or the fear will be unmanageable. God bless you, Dr. Zabinski.
They'd be our guests until we found them refuge.
-A human zoo.
Dr. Korczak. But then what of the children?
-What of them, Dr. Zabinski? My heart is no different than yours. I should not be here, they should not be here, you should not be here.

Oct 25, 2017

A good German:
Uh... Szymon told me about you. He... said some, um... interesting things. Uh... Listen to me. The ghetto walls were built against our Labor Bureau building. We have two doors. One opens into the free side of the city, the other, into the ghetto. In one way, out the other,you understand me?
I will give you papers that will give you access either way. Dr. Zabinski,
welcome to the Labor Office. You can take the workers out, I will see that
they are signed back in. ... (To German soldiers) This is Dr. Zabinski. He works for me. You will allow him through whenever he comes or goes. ... Look, this is Dr. Zabinski, he's allowed to pass through every time.

Read more:

Oct 25, 2017

Herr Heck has taken over the Berlin Zoo from his father. And his brother
runs the Munich Zoo.
Maybe she should play a German waltz. We may all be learning the goose-step within a year.
People always want to run when they don't know what's coming. It's their first instinct, always to run.
They called me Urszula.
-Urszula means "she-bear." Did you know that?
Yes. My father used to say it. Good evening. Hello. It's almost "bearable" today.
You have no idea what kind of man I am.
-Oh, but I do. I do, Lutz. You are a serious man. You're a man of intelligence
and of breeding. Not the kind of man that would shoot a child.
What have you been up to, Frau Zabinska, in your little zoo?

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Jan 30, 2018

violet_cat_5387 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VIRL

To Top