INTERVIEW: Jessica Chastain and Niki Caro Explain How Their Holocaust Movie Ended Up Being a Modern Film

The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the true story of a Polish couple who housed Jews in the Warsaw Zoo during the Holocaust, and were able to save the lives of more than 300 from the Warsaw Ghetto. The heartbreaking movie stars Jessica Chastain in the unforgettable role of Antonina Żabińska, and is directed by Niki Caro.

The movie is unique in it’s feminine perspective on a grueling war saga, and thanks to it’s inclusion of many wild animal actors: Chastain’s roster of scene partners include real tigers, elephants, camels, polar bears, skunks, and lions. Interestingly enough, the film, set in the early to mid twentieth century, feels alarmingly modern.

“Well, the world’s changed,” said Caro when asked about the film’s relevancy. “Seven years ago, when I became involved in this movie, I thought I was developing a historical drama. As it happens, we have made a contemporary film.”

Take a look at our exclusive BlackBook interview with the film’s star and director below.

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