“The Keeper,” a biographical film of the life of Bert Trautmann, the famous football player and former Nazi paratrooper, stars German actor David Kross and is directed by Marcus Rosenmuler. The set opens with active World War II scenes, and later depicts Trautmann’s capture by the British and transfer to a POW camp in 1944.
The movie highlights his struggle to be accepted in post war England, the subject’s own guilt, his love, loss and battle, as well as heroism on the football field. Would his ambition and success as a goalkeeper be enough to wipe away his past, and garner the respect of a people?
A true story, “The Keeper” brings to light a moral dilemma: Should a human being be judged for his past actions, the actions of a group, no matter how evil, or be judged based on the merits of his own person, his own being, and his desire and actions toward change? After the atrocities committed by Nazis, does humanity then judge those who fought in the war and seek to destroy their lives and future? Is that a hypocrisy or is that justice? And is there such a thing as karmic justice?
This is a historical movie, a love story, a war movie, a sports movie and a drama all mixed in one, and keeps its viewers emotionally and mentally engaged throughout, leaving one to ponder the questions and study the details of the life of this man after the movie ends.
The film premiered at the Zurich Film Festival in 2018 and was released in Germany under the title “Trautmann” last March, and other parts of Europe in the months to follow. It was released under the title, “The Keeper,” in the U.S. in October at the Sioux City International Film Festival. ■