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Diss screening for film of Bert Trautmann's improbable but true story

PUBLISHED: 10:34 21 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:40 21 September 2019

The Keeper is the story of former German Prisoner of War Bert Trautmann becoming a football hero in England after the Second World War. Picture: Parkland Entertainment

The Keeper is the story of former German Prisoner of War Bert Trautmann becoming a football hero in England after the Second World War. Picture: Parkland Entertainment

Parkland Entertainment

The Keeper, Marcus H Rosenmüller's robust, no nonsense account of Bert Trautmann's improbable but true journey towards a role as Manchester City's post war goalie, is a loving tribute to reconciliation and forgiveness that is a paean to decency.

The Keeper focuses on the relationship between Bert Trautmann and Mark’s mum Margaret. Picture: Parkland EntertainmentThe Keeper focuses on the relationship between Bert Trautmann and Mark’s mum Margaret. Picture: Parkland Entertainment

Initially, the very presence of this former Wehrmacht soldier caused outrage in Manchester, particularly among its Jewish community.

However, the ease with which Trautmann subsequently integrated into British life following his release as a Prisoner of War is the first of many surprises, not least in these febrile times.

The Keeper which tells how Bert Trautmann become a football hero in England after the Second World War is being screened in Diss. Picture: Parkland EntertainmentThe Keeper which tells how Bert Trautmann become a football hero in England after the Second World War is being screened in Diss. Picture: Parkland Entertainment

David Kross as Trautmann and Freya Mavor as his wife Margaret both give likeable, charming performances, though perhaps inevitably John Henshaw frequently steps in to scene steal as her bluff, plain-speaking Dad.

And just when you think Trautmann's story cannot get any more improbable, screenwriters Robert Marciniak and Nicholas Schofield repeatedly pull the audience this way and that, as both tragedy and victory take a toll on the footballer and his wife.

It says much for their writing skills that they have carved out such a convincing narrative from the most unlikely of facts, fashioning a hybrid of sports and war moves into a watchable, engaging story of hope and humanity triumphing over bitter resentment.

- The Keeper (15) screens at Diss Corn Hall on September 25, 10.30am and 7.30pm, 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk

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