German Film Festival Review: Trautmann

A classically-made biopic and a post-war drama about the extraordinary life of German soldier Bert Trautmann, who turned out to be one of Manchester City’s most celebrated goal keepers of all-time.

“Trautmann” (English title: “The Keeper”), is the story of Manchester City goal keeper Bert Trautmann, a former German POW during World War II who overcame prejudice, personal tragedy and public hostility to became one of the most celebrated goal keepers in English Football league.

Combine football and World War II in a film and I will definitely watch it. For football fans, Bert Trautmann was known as the hero of the 1956 FA Cup Final for Manchester City, famous for staying on the field and playing despite sustaining a serious injury on the neck. David Kross from “Simpel” stars as Trautmann in this film.

Trautmann’s life was so intriguing that the film’s plot of how the beautiful game unites former enemies was never straightforward on the onset. On the whole, the film feels like a mini-series with episodes from various stages of Trautmann’s life: his days as a German soldier, being captured by the Brits, his love story with Margaret Friar, to his football days. There was a shady attempt to paint Trautmann as sinless, glossing over the fact that he was a German soldier awarded with an Iron Cross. The move was so obvious that while I have no issue about his past as a solider, it could be much more effective to reveal his faults as much as his greatness.

I am a fan of the recreation of football matches which were artfully incorporated with old videos of the real matches. But of course, it is impossible to recreate the genuine feel of the excitement of a football match. The way this film was made, it seemed that it tried so hard not to alienate non-football fans to make it more appealing to a wider audience.

Geek Rate

Sky god Worthy (5 out of 5 stars). “Trautmann” might not be like watching a Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo match but I could compare it to watching a match where your home team was down 0-1 on the first half but eventually grabbing that 3 points at the end of the match with a 2-1 victory. That’s what I felt watching this film: there’s frustration with a little bit of sadness, combined with that giddy exhilaration of victory that will make watching it memorable.

Director: Marcus H. Rosenmüller

Cast: David Kross; Freya Mavor

Production company:  Zephyr Films, Lieblingsfilm

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