(2017) (Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A married couple that runs a Warsaw zoo uses that to hide Jews being persecuted by WWII Nazis.
- It's 1939 and Jan (JOHAN HELDENBERGH) and Antonina Zabinska (JESSICA CHASTAIN) run a zoo in Warsaw, Poland where their love for the animals is evident for all to see. It hasn't escaped the notice of Lutz Heck (DANIEL BRUHL) who runs the zoo in Berlin and tells others worried about German military aggression that he's a zoologist and not a politician. Not long after that and a German bombing run that heavily damages the facility and kills many animals, however, Lutz (now an SS officer) informs the couple that their zoo is to be liquidated, but that he'll transfer their most prized animals to the Berlin zoo.
To keep the facility open, Jan and Antonina propose to him that the zoo be used as a pig farm, and Lutz agrees, especially since he's decided to use the zoo in his attempts to bring back and breed aurochs that have been extinct for several hundred years. With German military forces now occupying Warsaw, the couple and their son Ryszard (TIMOTHY RADFORD as the younger boy, VAL MALOKU as the older boy) try to go about their lives, but are horrified to see the Nazis rounding up Jews, including their friend Maurycy Fraenkel (IDDO GOLDBERG), and forcing them into a fenced-in ghetto.
Despite the inherent dangers of doing so, the couple decides to hide another Jewish friend, Magda Gross (EFRAT DOR), in their house and then expands that by smuggling out children and adults inside their zoo truck they're using to remove refuse from the ghetto to feed the pigs at the zoo. Among them is young Urszula (SHIRA HAAS) who was sexually assaulted by two German soldiers and is now suffering from PTSD. As the war rages on and Lutz starts making moves on Antonia, the couple do what they can to smuggle out as many Jews as possible from the ghetto and hide them in their house and zoo.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Older teens might show some interest if the subject matter draws them in or if they're fans of Chastain or others in the cast.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For thematic elements, disturbing images, violence, brief sexuality, nudity and smoking.
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