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


- Hello, Jerzyk.

- Good morning, Miss.

It's a beautiful day.

Good morning.

- Hello. Welcome.

- Good morning.

Good morning.

Enjoy yourselves today.

Good morning.

Good morning.

- Good morning.

- Good morning.

Come along, Adam.

Time for morning rounds.

Hello, my loves.

Good morning, sweetheart.

Good morning.

How's our girl today?

No problems today, Miss.

Hello, old Kasia.

Yes. Tembo.

What a beautiful girl you are.

Good morning.

Good morning, darling.

Good morning, Punia.

Have you come to help me?

The torchlight

was flaring in front of me.

Behind me, I could hear the

breathing of a maddened creature.

It was midnight, black as coal.

I couldn't see

my hand in front of me,

but I could feel

her breath on my neck.

Hot and thick.

I had interfered,

and she was angry with me.

She took two steps.

I thought it was the end of me.

I took my rifle, raised it,

and that's when she charged.

There was nothing I could do,

I had to shoot her.

It was the picture

of perfection.

An exquisite creature.

A great desecration for me.

But I have to say,

her cubs did survive.

They thrived, and have grown to a

proud maturity in my zoo. Cheers.

Herr Heck has taken over the

Berlin Zoo from his father.

And his brother

runs the Munich Zoo.

Would you like a canap,

Herr Heck?

It looks delicious,

but no. Thank you.

This is Magda Gross, the sculptress.

Perhaps you know of her.

Indeed, yes.

She also made this...


Excuse me.

And what do you do

with yourself, my dear,

while your husband is

playing with his monkeys?

I help him.

Oh, isn't that sweet.

Sweetness is the least of it.

Antonina's a magician.

Thank you. I'll take it.

We met five or six years ago,

didn't we, Frau Zabinska?


I think you've

changed your hair.


You've only grown more beautiful

in these past years,

I have to say.

The look of a stray

barn cat, if you ask me.

Did you know that barn cats have the

keenest sense in all of nature?

More astute and fine than any

human being I hope to meet.

Do you play the piano,

Frau Zabinska?

A little.

Why don't you play

something for us?

I think it's the perfect time

to soothe the savage

beast and all that.

Maybe she should play

a German waltz.

We may all be learning the

goose-step within a year.

Stefan, please. STEFAN:

Isn't that so, Herr Heck?

Not now, please, Stefan.

Well, Hitler wants Poland.

It's what everyone's saying.

I wouldn't know anything

about it, I assure you.

I'm a zoologist,

not a politician.

Mama, Jerzyk needs you!

It's Kasia.

Excuse me, everyone.

Be quiet, don't startle her.

Here, stay here. Hold the

light steady for me.

She's not breathing.

I'm here, Kasia.

I'm here.

Hello, Tembo.

Hello, Tembo.

I can bring you overalls, Miss, please.

I can find other men.

There's no time.

She's suffocating.

Let me help you, Kasia.

Please, let me help

you, my darling.

Let me help you, sweetheart.

I have no rifle, Miss, please!

Hush! Enough now!


Oh, she's blocked!

No, please, let me do this.

I'm trying, Kasia.

I'm trying, my darling.

Wait, wait, wait.

You should go. You can go.

Why isn't that man armed?

Whoa, Tembo.

What's his name?


Tembo! Tembo.

Good. Good, good, good.

We're losing her!

Jerzyk, help me!

Push, Jerzyk!


Go. Go, go, go-


Oh, she's breathing!

Oh! She's breathing!

You beauty!

She's beautiful!

Amazing! Amazing!

That was hard work, wasn't it?

It's all right.

It's all right, sweetheart.

You are a, um...

You are a wonder, Punia.

You are Eve in her garden.

It's late. Let's go home.

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    "The Zookeeper's Wife" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 Jun 2021. <'s_wife_21706>.

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