The Zookeeper's Wife ★★★

We may never run out of movies to make about World War II, the people who lived through it, and the people who didn’t. It may seem a bit obvious given the global scope of the conflict, but the sheer number of narratives that have emerged from the period is truly mind-boggling, bordering on the infinite, and it often feels as though most of them have made their way in front of a camera. The Holocaust alone offers more stories than we could ever hope to pass along — in Niki Caro’s beautifully realized and occasionally stirring “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” even the animals have their own tales to tell.

Adapted from Diane Ackerman’s book of the same name, Caro’s most vivid and complete film since “Whale Rider” relays the remarkable true story Antonina and Jan Żabińska (Jessica Chastain and “The Broken Circle Breakdown” star Johan Heldenbergh), the kind-hearted goyim who ran the Warsaw Zoo during the Nazi occupation and spared some love for every species of guest whom they invited onto their sprawling property.

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