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The Keeper: A love story that shines a light on post-war tensions and forgiveness

Love, sport and postwar tensions go hand-in-hand in The Keeper, the true story of a German POW who signs for a pro British football club.

The Keeper: A love story that shines a light on post-war tensions and forgiveness

Die-hard football fans will no doubt know the story of Bert Trautmann, the German prisoner-of-war during World War II who ended up playing for Manchester City in the FA Cup.

The Keeper: A love story that shines a light on post-war tensions and forgiveness

The story of Bert Trautmann is the stuff of movies.

Born in the 1920s, he joined the Hitler Youth as a boy and was sent to fight against the Allies while still in his teens.

Eventually captured by the British, he spent the rest of the war in a POW camp, where his impressive footballing prowess was soon discovered.

After the war, he chose to stay in Britain, rather than go home to Germany and was signed to Manchester City, one of England’s top football clubs.

Burt fell in love with an English girl but anti-Germanic feeling still ran rife in Britain at the time and so it was not easy for him to be accepted by his adopted country.

The Keeper is Trautmann’s story and stars German actor David Kross (The Reader) as Burt, as well as Freya Mavor as his English girlfriend, Margaret.

Freya Mavor plays Bert's English girlfriend Margaret.

Freya Mavor plays Bert’s English girlfriend Margaret.

It’s a love story between two people from opposite sides of a war but it is also about forgiveness, reconciliation and finding common ground between enemies, and will appeal to a wide audience.

Its title has a double meaning: as a football goalkeeper but also as someone who the British may or may not choose to ‘keep’ after the War.

The film’s director, Marcus H Rosenmuller said, on a deeper level: “The Keeper is a story about the primal longing for the perfect world of our childhood and the struggle of this childhood against the monsters of our supposed civilisation.”

The Keeper won the Golden Hitchcock for Best Film at the Dinard Film Festival on Saturday, September 28.

It also picked up the audience award at the festival, which showcases UK films to French audiences.

The Keeper is released on DVD on October 23.

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