The director of a new film honouring football legend Bert Trautmann is to attend a special preview screening in South Tyneside ahead of its nationwide release.
Marcus H. Rosenmuller is flying in from Germany to answer questions about The Keeper at an exclusive event for Friends of The Customs House tomorrow at 7pm.
The Keeper tells the incredible true story of Bert Trautmann (David Kross), a German soldier and prisoner of war who, against a backdrop of British post-war protest and prejudice, becomes a goalkeeper at Manchester City.
Struggling for acceptance by those who dismiss him as the enemy, Bert’s love for Margaret (Freya Mavor), an Englishwoman, carries him through and he wins over even his harshest opponents by winning the 1956 FA Cup Final, playing on with a broken neck to secure victory for his club against Birmingham City.
Rosenmuller, who also wrote the film, said: “The Keeper is an obvious film in many ways. The heroic story is obvious.
"The former enemy becomes the hero of a nation: a unique sportsman biography that exemplifies what sport can contribute to the reconciliation of hostile countries.
“A film that shows that reconciliation requires two things more than anything: on the one hand, someone who understands that he has committed a crime and has the courage to apologise for it, and on the other hand, someone who is willing to accept this apology.
“The focus is on the individual responsibility of each person for his or her actions, but even more on the responsibility for his or her inaction.
"It is an appeal that solidarity and humanity do not happen on their own but have to be fought for.
“Not quite so obvious, but very important to me, 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 civilization.
“It is the longing for the timeless moments in which one enjoys the moment guilt free and the happiness of the world flows happily through the soul.”
The VIP screening at The Customs House takes place 14 days ahead of the UK release of the film, which also stars John Henshaw (Early Doors, Downtown Abbey), Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake), Gary Lewis (Billy Elliott, Gangs of New York) and Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel, Goodnight Sweetheart, Strangers).
Friends of The Customs House are entitled to one free ticket per membership, with donations at the end of the screening going to The Customs House Trust.
Contact the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or book online at www.customshouse.co.uk.
Friends of The Customs House membership starts at £30 per year and includes priority booking, discounted tickets for selected shows, no online booking fee, £3 cinema tickets and 10 per cent discount on food and drinks at Dame Bella’s Bar & Bistro.
The Keeper is released in cinemas nationwide on April 5 and is on general show at The Customs House from Friday, April 5, to Thursday, April 18..