The Zookeeper (2001)
- Summaries (2)
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.
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 and violence. Within days, the guard has disappeared and the veterinarian killed. Ludovic is left alone with the threat that he will be next. His solitude is broken with the arrival of Zioig. A wounded nine year old, who after miraculously escaping incarceration, has learned the skills of a vigilante. Ludovic wants nothing to do with the boy, who will bring nothing but trouble, but cannot turn the wounded child away. Ludovic's frustration intensifies when a young woman, Ankica, makes her way to the zoo gates. Escaping from a concentration camp and aided by those in the underground, Ankica has made her way to the zoo in search of her son. The reunion successful, Ankica makes it clear that they will stay in the zoo together and Ludovic will help them to avoid re-arrest. Ludovic is at a loss. The war has intensified. The animals are on the brink of starvation. Without the animals, there is no job. Without the job, there will be no freedom. Although reluctant, Ludovic agrees and together, with Ankica and Zioig struggle to keep the animals alive. In reaching out they discover each other, their secrets and the hope that eventually finds peace, forgiveness and love.
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