Words Mike Beck
“Football & sports fans in general will enjoy the atmosphere & look of stadiums such as Wembley, literally transporting the viewer back an era.”
War has always been games without frontiers. But what if the game they call ‘beautiful’ could have a sporting chance to play a role in restoring harmony?
The Keeper, recounts the true story of WWII German paratrooper Bert Trautmann (David Cross), who lands himself on English soil as a POW in 1945, & transforms his future in a foreign land through the most popular sport in the world; football.
Having an ally in the Father of his would be bride to be, Trautmann finds freedom, love, a career, & surprisingly an opportunity to change relationships between two oppositional countries.
Lancashire tradesmen Jack Friar (John Henshaw) with a connection to England’s national sport, identifies some talent in the young protagonist, & acts as a vehicle for Trautmann to exit a holding camp, connect with his daughter Margaret (Freya Mavor), & enters the world of English Football, as the title alerts.
There will be some curiosity around pinpointing the genre & overall feel of The Keeper, as it shifts around in its definition throughout. It moves from a war film, to a love story, to a sports film, while maintaining its underpinning psychological drama . As it’s based on a true story, the gold of The Keeper is its ability to mix tragedy with a feel good sensibility.
The time period of The Keeper (1940’s & 50’s) is captured authentically, particularly with the embracing of digital technology to re-create physical spaces & places. Football & sports fans in general will enjoy the atmosphere & look of stadiums such as Wembley, literally transporting the viewer back an era.
Throughout history there have been times when sport has been there to facilitate bringing people together, & rebuilding broken bridges. The Keeper has this, & humanity at large at its heart. As Jack explains to Bert about the dynamic between the nations in this tale; “It’s going to be a while before we can think straight, people have got deep wounds.” & there are wounds to be healed for Trautmann himself, but I’ll leave that for you to discover.