Jessica Chastain Resists The Spread Of Fascism In “The Zookeeper’s Wife” Trailer

“Never forget” takes on a new meaning in a story of Nazi-occupied Poland that features elephants.

Jessica Chastain Resists The Spread Of Fascism In “The Zookeeper’s Wife” Trailer

WHAT: The first trailer for The Zookeeper’s Wife.

WHO: Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl star in Niki Caro’s adaptation of Diane Ackerman’s non-fiction bestseller.

WHY WE CARE: We live in a deeply uncertain world right now, which makes movies like The Zookeeper’s Wife more important (and more frightening) than ever. Normally, we might make a joke here about how this isn’t a spin-off of the 2011 Kevin James vehicle The Zookeeper starring Leslie Bibb’s character, but let’s be real for a second: There have been swastikas being spray-painted around America the past week, so a movie set in Nazi-occupied Poland, based on the true story of the Warsaw Zoo owners who saved 300 Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto (and subsequently the Treblinka extermination camp), isn’t just an intriguing look at history–it’s a reminder of what unchecked fascism looks like, and a reminder of what the stakes are in resisting its spread.

That’s a lot to put on a movie featuring the stars of The Help and Captain America: Civil War, but it’s a subtext that the movie now carries that, had it been released in a timeline where the events of the past week had gone down differently, it wouldn’t have possessed. Subtext aside, though, it’s also a story of the way our quirkier institutions–zoos!–remain significant at times of war, and a reminder that whatever it is the humans are getting up to between one another, the creatures we share the planet with have concerns of their own. That’ll make The Zookeeper’s Wife a movie to keep an eye on when it’s released in March.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.