Of Animals and Men

Duration: 58 min.
Country of production: Poland
Year of production: 2019
Film original language: polish
Director: Łukasz Czajka
Producer: Anna Wereda – Autograf
Co-producers: TVP S.A., Mazowiecki Instytut Kultury, Mazowiecki i Warszawski Fundusz Filmowy, Filmoteka Narodowa – Instytut Audiowizualny, Narodowe Centrum Kultury, MX35
Co-financing: Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej, Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego, Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Mazowieckiego (Warszawa), Urząd Miasta Stołecznego Warszawy

Every Zoo aims to protect animal species from extinction. During the Second World War, the Warsaw Zoo carried out its function in a rebellious manner. Once the war began, the Nazis killed some animals and transferred the others to the Third Reich. The abandoned
enclosures were taken over by the species most endangered by warfare: the man. The Jews escaping the inevitable death and the Home Army soldiers found shelter in the empty stables, kennels, and aviaries as well as in the house of Jan Żabiński, the then Director.
The Zoo offered a hiding place – sometimes for a day, rarely for a few months – to several hundred people. The exact number remains unknown. We try to tell this incredible story by means of metaphorical shots of animals, abundant archive footage, and interviews with
the last living witnesses.