Focus Features has unveiled the first trailer for The Zookeeper’s Wife, a true-story drama starring Jessica Chastain in the lead role.
Based on the true story of Antonina Żabiński, this promising drama tells of the Warsaw Zoo keepers during WWII and their decision to work with the Resistance when Nazis invade Poland. Incredibly, Antonina and her family helped save hundreds of people and animals during one of the world’s darkest periods.
New Zealand-born filmmaker Niki Caro broke out with the hugely successful NZ film Whale Rider, and has since directed North County – a Charlize Theron-starring account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the US – and McFarland, USA – the true story of Jim White (Kevin Costner), a football coach who turned seven students with no hope into one of the best cross-country teams. So she certainly has experience bringing real-life stories to the screen.
This is a fascinating, incredible story that no doubt needs to be told, and there’s a strong cast helping bring it to life. Chastain is certainly good value, even if it remains to be seen if that accent convinces throughout, and the reliable Daniel Brühl looks to be putting in tense work as a Nazi. Here’s hoping for a well-crafted, dramatic and inspirational picture that doesn’t go for the overly sentimental route.
The Zookeeper’s Wife, also starring Johan Heldenbergh and Iddo Goldberg, will hit the US on March 31 and arrives in Australia on May 4, 2017.
Synopsis for The Zookeeper’s Wife:
The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh of “The Broken Circle Breakdown”), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are stunned – and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl of “Captain America: Civil War”). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.