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The Zookeeper (2001)

Cast: Sam Neill, Gina McKee, Ulrich Thomsen, more...
Director: Ralph Ziman
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: BRINK
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Politics and Social Issues, UK, War
Running Time: 105 min.
Languages: English

Synopsis
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. ~ AMG



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