7.6/10
4,129
8 user 5 critic

The Zookeeper (2001)

In the midst of a devastating civil war in an Eastern European country, a disillusioned ex-Communist is left behind to take care of the animals in the capital's zoological gardens until a U.N. rescue force arrives.

Director:

Ralph Ziman

Writers:

Matthew Bishop (story and screenplay), Ralph Ziman (screenplay)
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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Neill ... Ludovic
Gina McKee ... Ankica
Ulrich Thomsen ... Dragov
Om Puri ... The Vet
Marek Vasut ... Yeltsov
Javor Loznica Javor Loznica ... Zioig
Srdjan Simeonovich Srdjan Simeonovich ... Slavko
Arnost Proschek Arnost Proschek ... Dusan
Mikulás Kren ... Father
Tomás Valík Tomás Valík ... Soldier 1
Stanislav Hybler Stanislav Hybler ... Soldier 1
Hana Pastejríková ... Woman at Window
Drahomíra Fialková Drahomíra Fialková ... Neighbor Woman
Ilja Racek ... Stanislaw
Rudolf Jelínek ... Zoo Official
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Storyline

Eastern Europe - a city torn by civil war - Present Day Jonah Ludovic writes in his journal. His poetry softening the cynical observations of a man living a self imposed penance. Wherever he came from and whoever he was, Ludovic is now alone, silenced by a crime unknown. Ludovic can hear the shelling of an imposing civil war. He can see the flashes of fire destroying a city that once was his home. He doesn't move. He just writes. As daybreak arrives, the shelling has ceased. Ludovic makes his way to his job as a custodian at the local zoo. He is met at the gates by the fleeing staff. Ludovic chooses to remain behind, he has no where to go. Along with an elderly guard and a veterinarian, the three set out to care for the animals and hopefully protect them and themselves, from harm. It is not long before the war has reached the gates of the zoo. Dragov, the sociopathic captain of a local search platoon of nationalists, heightens the intensity of the senseless war with surprise visits ... Written by Michael Alden <novelma@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man had the courage to do what was right...

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 November 2001 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Clovek v ZOO See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Father: Please!
[is struck by butt of gun]
Soldier 1: Women to the left, men to the right.
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Crazy Credits

Michal Koban ... legal counsel animals See more »

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User Reviews

 
an incredibly moving war film with a beautifully-judged performance from Sam Neill
3 November 2001 | by stratfranksSee all my reviews

Featuring one of Sam Neill's finest performances, this is an incredibly moving war drama about the human tragedy that is military oppression. Set in a zoo in the Balkans during a bombing siege, the film is gritty and realistic as well as poetically allegorical, showing the effects of war on both man and beast.

When a young boy and his mother come seeking shelter from the fascist paramilitaries rounding up all those who are not "patriots" (featuring a fantastic supporting performance by Ulrik Thomsen as their leader), Sam Neill's Zookeeper finds himself forced to come to terms with the mess he's made of his own life.

Why has this film not been widely distributed? Anyone who liked The Piano will love this! The audience is waiting!


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