NEW ZEALAND director Niki Caro370.
(photo credit: Will Burgess/Reuters )
New Zealand film director Niki Caro is about to begin work on a movie titled The
Zookeeper’s Wife that tells the story of how Jews were saved from the Nazis in
Warsaw’s zoo during World War II.
The Zookeeper’s Wife is based on a
non-fiction book by Diane Ackerman, published in the United States in 2007. The
book tells the story of Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his
wife, Antonina. During World War II, shortly after the German air force
destroyed the zoo and killed most of the animals, the couple used the empty
animal cages to smuggle more than 300 Jews out of Warsaw.
Antonina Zabinski also gave shelter to hundreds of Jews in their villa located
on the zoo’s grounds, helping to save their lives. Yad Vashem honored the couple
in 1965 as Righteous Among the Nations.
Antonina died in 1971 and her
husband in 1974. On February 10, 2008, Diane Ackerman’s book The Zookeeper’s
Wife was No. 13 on The New York Times non-fiction best-seller list. In the same
year, the book received the Orion magazine book award.
The screenplay has
been written by Angela Workman and, according to The Hollywood Reporter American
actress Jessica Chastain is to play the role of Antonina.
fame after starring roles in several movies in recent years, and has been
nominated for film awards, including an Academy Award for her role in the movie
The Help and two nominations for the Golden Globe. In 2012, Time magazine named
her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
fame after her 2002 movie Whale Rider won a number of awards at international
Several sources close to the production said the project
was expected to premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival next year.