Best Art Doc Award


Of Animals And Men

Director: Łukasz Czajka/
Producer:Autograf Karol Wozbinski / Telewizja Polska (TVP) / Mazowiecki Instytut Kultury
Country / Region:Poland
Film Introduction
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, theNazis killed some animals and transferred the others to the Third Reich. The abandonedenclosures were taken over by the species most endangered by warfare: the man. TheJews escaping the inevitable death and the Home Army soldiers found shelter in the emptystables, 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 severalhundred people. The exact number remains unknown. We try to tell this incredible story bymeans of metaphorical shots of animals, abundant archive footage, and interviews withthe last living witnesses.
Film Creator
Łukasz Czajka was born in Warsaw. He is a graduate of Wajda School. He also holds degrees in Political Science from the University of Warsaw and the Centre for Latin American Studies. He's an experienced TV reporter as well as a creator and designer of video games, which have been translated into a dozen foreign languages. For four years, he’s been fascinated by the story of the Żabiński family and wartime events at the Warsaw Zoo. He’s engaged in the activities of the Monopol Warszawski Association of the Praga district, which, among other things, undertakes artistic initiatives such as concerts and theatre performances at the Hall of Memory of Jan and Antonina Żabińskis.
Contact Information