Focus Features has released the first trailer for The Zookeeper’s Wife. The World War 2 film stars Jessica Chastain as Antonina Żabińska who runs a zoo in 1939 Warsaw along with her husband Dr. Jan Antonina Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh). Based on the real-life Zabinska couple, the film is an adaptation of Diane Ackerman‘s novel of the same name which deals with the couple provifding shelter to hundreds of Jews during the Nazi invasion.
Chastain, as always is seen giving an honest performance though her accent at times may not sound right. Daniel Brühl also stars in the film as the newly appointed chief zoologist to whom the couple must now report to. Brühl is now frequently getting typecast as character with German/East european accent.
The trailer is extremely powerful in conveying the emotions and horror of one of the darkest times of the human history. The trailer doesn’t shy away from featuring shots of the Kristallnacht and mass transportation of the Jews. The film uses a brighter colour palette against the much darker mood of the times. This is exactly opposite to a similar film Schindler’s List by Steven Speilberg which goes black and white for the entirety ofthe film except for particular parts. This nicely juxtaposes the cruelty of humanity against the underlying hope of a better tomorrow, a theme we’ll likely be seeing throughout the breadth of the film.
Video Courtesy : Focus Features via YouTube
The film is directed by Niki Caro and also stars Michael McElhatton, Iddo Goldberg, Anna Rust, and Goran Kostić.
The Zookeeper’s Wife is set for a March 31st release.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for the film:
In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Antonina Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated 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 (Golden Globe Award nominee Daniel Brühl of Captain America: Civil War).
To fight back on their own terms, the Żabińskis 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.