The Zookeeper's Wife

Synopsis: War brews over Warsaw in 1939, and while life is still running its course, the Germans are slowly beginning to make their presence felt, with Hitler secretly preparing for the German invasion of Poland. Under those circumstances, the young couple of Jan and Antonina Zabinski continue their daily routine as owners and keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, but soon, as German Luftwaffe's Stukas hammer the Polish capital, their life's work together with the city, will turn to ashes. However, with the zoo liquidated for the war effort and many of its animals tragically perished, what was once an animals' zoo, will now serve as a sanctuary where Antonina, the humanist veterinarian, and Jan can hide the persecuted Polish Jews in plain sight until safe houses are found. That was Jan and Antonina's formidable, yet perilous plan, who regardless of the consequences, refused to wither before the Nazi menace, took matters into their own hands and sheltered 300 Jews under the Germans' noses.
Director(s): Niki Caro
Production: Focus Features
  2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
127 min

don't shoot him!


No, Mama!

Excuse me, where is

the train to Zalesie?

No trains running today!

No trains today!

Leave the station immediately.



Rys, Rys, come, come, come.


I thought you were lost.

Come, come. Come.

I can't believe you found us.

Let's go home.

Hey. Maybe you'd

like to fly. Come.

Come, Punia.


Pancho, I'm here.

It's all right.

He's all right, Mama.

Oh, you poor things. You

must have been so soared.

The German government

has taken charge

of the Polish people.

We rely on the

population of Warsaw

to accept the entry

of German forces

quietly, honorably, and calmly.

They're here, Mama.

Let's go.

They're using

our enclosures as an armory.

The country's

completely overrun.

I was raised with these people.

Jews, Gentiles.

It didn't matter to my family.

It never mattered to me.

Guten Tag, meine Herren.

Herr Heck.

Thank you, Jerzyk.


It's terrible, Frau Zabinska.

Yes. It is.

You know, we weren't

expecting you.

I'm so sorry. My husband's

not here, so...

Can we talk?

Yes, of course. Please.

Your zoo is to be liquidated.

I'm sorry to tell you.

I don't understand

what you mean.

For the war effort.

Meat, firewood,



No. It can't be true.

The animals?

All of them?

Another tragedy, I know.

But I see a way out

of this, my friend.

That's why I've come.

But you need to listen to me now.

You need to trust me.

Now, I could take your prize

animals to Germany as a loan.

We'll give them sanctuary.

You know you can

trust my word on this.

And when the war is over,

I can return them to you.

But what if the war

comes to Germany?

A terrible thought, I know, and

a personal nightmare for me,

but I must tell you the

Allied forces are very weak.

I expect this

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