Film about Warsaw-Zoo couple who saved Jews to premiere in 2017
PR dla Zagranicy
The American feature film which tells the story of how Jews were given temporary shelter by the Warsaw Zoo director and his wife during the Nazi German occupation is to be premiered in March 2017.
Jan Żabiński. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Directed by New Zealand’s Nici Caro, the film is based on Diane Ackerman’s novel “The Zookeeper’s Wife”, which was published in the US in 2007, and was released in Polish translation several years later.
It stars twice-Oscar nominated Jessica Chastain (“The Help”, “Zero Dark Thirty”) as Antonina Żabiński and Johan Heldenbergh (“The Broken Circle Breakdown”) as her husband Jan, the Zoo director.
The cast also includes Daniel Bruhl (“Goodbye Lenin”, “Captain America: Civil War”) and the Polish actress Magdalena Lamparska.
The Żabinskis sheltered Jews in their two-story private house on the zoo's grounds and in the abandoned animal cages, hiding between seven and twelve people at a time in their home in addition to those in the cages.
They performed their private rescue project like a well-planned military operation, under the noses of the Germans, who stationed an army unit in the zoo.
It is believed that they saved several hundred Jews.
After the war, the state of Israel thanked the couple by awarding them Righteous Among the Nations medals.
Antonina Żabinski died in 1971, and her husband three years later. (mk/rg)