The Zookeeper (2001)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Zookeeper Photos

Movie Info

A man who has devoted his life to animals rather than dealing with the emotional and political uncertainties of humans finds he's challenged when his zoo becomes a battlefield in this downbeat drama. Ludovic (Sam Neill) lives and works in an unnamed city in the Balkans; once an idealistic communist, he grew disenchanted with politics in general and socialism in particular, and now devotes his energies to his job as a zookeeper. Political turmoil has thrown the zoo into the middle of a war zone, and after repeated bombing raids have come perilously close to the animal sanctuary, the staff has been ordered to evacuate. But Ludovic refuses to leave, and with the help of a staff veterinarian (Om Puri), he single-handedly tends to the needs of the animals. Ludovic, however, learns that there's no escaping the chaos around him, and as troops led by Dragov (Ulrich Thomsen) raid the zoo and take the veterinarian away in the name of "ethnic cleansing," he realizes he must make some sort of a stand, and soon gives sanctuary to Ankica (Gina McKee) and Zioig (Javor Loznica), a mother and her son who narrowly escaped execution in a nearby village. The Zookeeper was director Ralph Ziman's second film dealing with the dangers and tragedies of racially motivated politics, following his 1995 debut Hearts and Minds.
Action & Adventure , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Moviefan Scandinavia


Gina McKee
as Ankica
Sam Neill
as Ludovic
Om Puri
as The Vet
Marek Vasut
as Yeltsov

Critic Reviews for The Zookeeper

All Critics (1)

a haunting film, superbly directed, and filmed with a harsh beauty

Full Review… | December 6, 2010
Killer Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2011

Audience Reviews for The Zookeeper

My wife said this was the most horrible movie she'd ever seen...not in quality, but in how difficult and painful it was to watch the horrors contained within. I don't necessarily agree with that completely, but it was definitely a downer. It seemed to me that the whole goal of the movie was to depress the audience. If that's true, mission accomplished. I think the point of the movie is that war is horrible. I already knew that, but it was still pretty decent. And horrible. The one thing that disappointed me was that the leader of the group of thugs that kept visiting the zoo never ate a bullet. Sigh.

Gaspar Oot
Gaspar Oot

Beautifully told picture of the horrors of war through the eyes of a zookeeper who holds onto what he knows in the worst of circumstances

Suzanne T
Suzanne T

Aside from a scene whose tragic end is telegraphed for several tortuous minutes, "The Zookeeper" is well directed, poignant and, in the end, even hopeful. Also one of the better-kept secrets of Sam Neill's career.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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