Loosely based on a true story, The Keeper is one of those rare sports films that is involving even if you have no interest in the sport featured. Bert Trautmann (David Kross) was a Nazi paratrooper who was captured on the Western Front by British soldiers near the end of the World War II. He was held captive at a prisoner-of-war camp in Lancashire.
In the film, an English grocer who is supplying the camp with goods sees Trautmann playing football and recognises his skill as a goalie. He coaches a local team and works out a deal with the camp’s commander to have him leave the camp for the day and play for his team.
Trautmann has to overcome the prejudice and hatred post war for the Germans and so begins his odyssey. One that ultimately ends with him marrying the grocer’s daughter, playing for Manchester United and becoming the receipting of an OBE and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The reality of the period right after the end of war is often overlooked in the joy of the conflict finally being over but it left millions without a home and without immediate family. This tale highlights one soldier’s journey that became a happy one. The film, while being a bit predictable at times still provides a good number of moments that are inspiring.