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The Zookeeper’s Wife (PG) ****

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Animals come in all shapes and sizes. Man is also part of that illustrious kingdom. How oppression collides with compassion comes to fruition in The Zookeeper’s Wife. Based on Actual events this telling tale from Elevation Pictures is now opening people’s eyes at the Fifth Avenue and International Village Cinemas.

Clearly worthy of your time is this Holocaust drama. Much has been made of the sombre nature of war films. Here are story begins with a simple husband wife running a zoo in Warsaw, Poland. Our man in charge is an intellectual while the woman is European and played with compassion and fearlessness by Jessica Chastain in what could be seen as an Oscar calibre performance.

Socially upscale and with a following the pair learn e hard way of the pain and suffering when e German war machine rolls into Poland. No one is safe and though not Jewish these two humane people find it difficult as their Jewish friends becomes victims in an all out Nazi assault. As both men, women, children and animals become easy prey for marauding soldiers these two so righteous souls embark on a wondrous journey in an effort to save what, and who they can.

Painful at times to watch but full of hope and raw emotion The Zookeeper’s Wife shows how desperate people try to survive under the most trying circumstances. Films like this need a central villain and here Daniel Bruhl raises to the occasion as a chameleon so, diet and fair weather friend whose loyalties are out to the ultimate test.

With a solemn soulful soundtrack The Zookeeper’s Wife follows the path laid out by the endearing appeal of Schindler’s List. Emotional, impactful and unquestionably real here is one film that needs to be seen.

By Alan Samuel