Thursday, June 6, 2024

Checkpoint Zoo (2024) Tribeca 2024

CHECKPOINT ZOO is the story of the Feldman Ecopark which is just outside of Kharkiv, Ukraine. Being outside of one of the targets for Russian forces invading the country mean that the parks 5,000 animals were in the direct line of Russian bombing.  As most of the 1000 employees of the park ran to safety a small contingent returned to work to try and keep the animals safe.

Easily one of the best and most moving films at this year's Tribeca, CHECKPOINT ZOO is a film you need to see sooner than later. Even if you don't like animals the tale of how a few people fought and died to keep these animal safe will fill you with awe. Its the story of how people made do with nothing to make sure that everyone and everything was as safe as possible.

Twenty minutes into the film all I could think about was telling everyone I know about this film. This was a film that people need to see.

What moved me about the film was it is telling a story of war we never hear. Yes we hear about what happens to the people but what happened to the animals?  Its a story no one ever really talks about until well after the fact. A blood brother to last year's film SEARCHING FOR NIKA which followed the filmmaker as he tried to find his parents' lost dog among the shelling and ended up rescuing dozens of pets and other animals he met along the way, CHECKPOINT ZOO reminds us that there are  still good people out there. It more importantly reminds us that we have a responsibility to the creatures we choose to keep, especially when they have been brought far from their natural home.

This film will amaze you from the first frame to the last. It will also move you to tears as you are forced to contend with a side of war that most people never consider.

Highly recommended, this is just a film that you will want to see repeatedly.

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