You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Hollywood film on couple who saved Jews premiering in Poland

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/7/2017 By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press
Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, right, who plays the main character and Teresa Zabinska, left, the daughter of Jan and Antonina Zabinski pose for a photo prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", the movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, right, who plays the main character and Teresa Zabinska, left, the daughter of Jan and Antonina Zabinski pose for a photo prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", the movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Hollywood actress Jessica Chastain and the female director of her new movie, are celebrating both the strength and the tenderness of women.

In this Monday, March 6, 2017 photo people walk past the house in which Jan Zabinski and wife Antonina lived during World War II at the Zoo in Warsaw, Poland. The gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", a movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, is taking place March 7. 2017 in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © The Associated Press In this Monday, March 6, 2017 photo people walk past the house in which Jan Zabinski and wife Antonina lived during World War II at the Zoo in Warsaw, Poland. The gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", a movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, is taking place March 7. 2017 in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Chastain, director Niki Caro, and other actors were in Warsaw Tuesday for a gala screening of the movie "The Zookeeper's Wife."

Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, who plays the main character, speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, who plays the main character, speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

It tells the real-life story of the former director of the Warsaw zoo, Jan Zabinski, and of his wife, Antonina, who jointly saved up to 300 Jews by hiding them in their home on zoo grounds and in animal enclosures during World War II.

This March 6, 2017 photo shows a room in the house in which Jan Zabinski and wife Antonina lived during World War II at the zoo in Warsaw, Poland. The gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", a movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, is taking place March 7. 2017 in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © The Associated Press This March 6, 2017 photo shows a room in the house in which Jan Zabinski and wife Antonina lived during World War II at the zoo in Warsaw, Poland. The gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", a movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, is taking place March 7. 2017 in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Shot in Prague, Czech Republic, the movie opens in theaters March 31. It is based on a 2007 book by American author Diane Ackerman that revealed the story to the world.

Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, who plays the main character, speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, who plays the main character, speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Two-time Academy Award nominee Chastain, who plays Antonina Zabinska, told a news conference she felt "so inspired" by the story of human kindness "that we need so much today."

Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, who plays the main character, speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, who plays the main character, speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

She said it was exciting to play how Antonina, initially unsure of herself, "is left alone at the house and given all this responsibility for caring for all these people and to protect them she grows into herself." By the end of the movie, she is an equal with her husband.

Actors playing the main characters, Johan Heldenbergh, right, and Hollywood star Jessica Chastain attend a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Actors playing the main characters, Johan Heldenbergh, right, and Hollywood star Jessica Chastain attend a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

The nicest part, however, was working with the animals, Chastain said, recalling a "little game with apples" she played with a female elephant.

Actor Daniel Bruhl speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Actor Daniel Bruhl speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

"I would hide the apples round the set and she, with the trunk, would come over and try to find the apples on me," Chastain said. "That was the best part, playing the games with the animals."

Film director Niki Caro speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Film director Niki Caro speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Teresa Zabinska, the daughter of Jan and Antonina, said at the gala screening she was happy to see her parents bravery honored that way, especially her mother, who carried the brunt of the effort.

This Monday, March 6, 2017 photo shows a cellar in the house in which Jan Zabinski and wife Antonina lived during World War II at the zoo in Warsaw, Poland. The gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", a movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, is taking place March 7. 2017 in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © The Associated Press This Monday, March 6, 2017 photo shows a cellar in the house in which Jan Zabinski and wife Antonina lived during World War II at the zoo in Warsaw, Poland. The gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", a movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, is taking place March 7. 2017 in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Caro said the movie turned out to be a very contemporary one, with an important message to everyone.

Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, left,who plays the main character and Teresa Zabinska, right, the daughter of Jan and Antonina Zabinski pose for a photo prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", the movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, left,who plays the main character and Teresa Zabinska, right, the daughter of Jan and Antonina Zabinski pose for a photo prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife", the movie showing the story of Jan and Antonina who jointly saved up to 300 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in their home and animal enclosures, in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

The Zabinskis did the "right thing," risking their own lives and those of their two children, to "act, to stand up, to act out of the highest vision of ourselves," the director said.

Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, who plays the main character, poses for photos prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, who plays the main character, poses for photos prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

She said she would like to see more female heroes who are genuinely feminine and complex, rather than "Lara Croft guy-characters with sexy bodies."

Actor Johan Heldenbergh speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Actor Johan Heldenbergh speaks during a press conference prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Both women said they would take part in a march to mark International Women's Day in Warsaw on Wednesday. Actors Daniel Bruhl and Johan Heldenbergh, who also star in the movie, said they will join them.

Film director Niki Caro poses for a photo prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Film director Niki Caro poses for a photo prior to the gala screening of "The Zookeeper's Wife" in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Earlier in the day, the crew visited the Zabinskis' villa.

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon