Australian Council on Children and the Media

The Keeper

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Not recommended under 8, parental guidance to 13 (violence, language, adult themes, sexual references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for The Keeper
  • a review of The Keeper completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 5 August 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to violence, themes of death and injury, sexual references and coarse language
Children aged 8–13 Parental guidance recommended to 13 due to violence, themes of death and injury, sexual references, and coarse language
Children over the age of 13 Recommended for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: The Keeper
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes, violence and coarse language
Length 119 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Keeper follows the true story of famed German-English football player Bert Trautmann (David Kross), from WWII German prisoner of war in Northern England to goalkeeper for Manchester City.  While a POW in England, Bert’s natural aptitude as a goalkeeper is observed by local football manager Jack (John Henshaw), who recruits him to play for his losing team.  As Bert battles hostility from football fans and the general public alike, he and Jack’s daughter Margaret (Freya Mavor) begin to fall in love.  The story comes to a head during the infamous 1956 FA Cup Final in which Bert breaks his neck but plays on to help Manchester City win.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

War; Death of children; Children as victims; Murder; Sexism; Relationship breakdown; PTSD; Grief and loss

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • War scenes – Soldiers are shot (graphic with spurting blood) and bombed
  • Following an explosion a severed deer head is shown
  • Bert is kicked in the head during a soccer tackle mishap – This is serious and causes him severe injury
  • Two men wrestle in a cemetery – Neither is badly hurt

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • After a soldier is shot dead, he falls on top of another soldier who is briefly trapped under his body
  • A soldier is forced to shovel out a latrine which makes him gag violently – This may disturb young children

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Holocaust footage is shown – Emaciated corpses are thrown into mass graves
  • A Nazi soldier threatens to shoot a young child for entertainment – This sequence is returned to later in the film, and it is revealed that he does shoot the child
  • A young boy runs onto a road and is hit by a car and killed – His mother screams and cries uncontrollably

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • A dead German POW is shown hanging by his neck
  • Bert badly breaks his neck during a soccer match but, despite clearly being in severe pain every time he moves, he plays through – This sequence may distress this age group

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing of additional concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Nothing noted

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A female character is wolf-whistled by soldiers
  • Reference is made to giving a hand-job to a man
  • It is implied on several occasions that a couple has had sex

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Kissing
  • A young married couple intimately kiss in bed
  • A female character suggests that all German soldiers would be “dying to get in our knickers”
  • Men are shown in their underwear on several occasions

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Frequent tobacco smoking
  • Frequent drinking of beer and spirits

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Fuck
  • Arsehole
  • Bastard
  • Fags (used to describe cigarettes but this may not be clear to those more familiar with the derogatory use of the term)
  • Shit
  • Bugger
  • Tits
  • Nob

In a nutshell

The Keeper is a semi-fictionalised account of German POW turned English soccer great, Bert Trautmann, detailing his rise to fame and personal story of love and loss.  While both heart-warming and funny at times, this film is often slow paced and clunky when trying to depict emotional highs and lows.  It is also important to note that The Keeper significantly downplays the role Bert Trautmann played in WWII as a Nazi soldier, and his participation in Nazi-affiliated organisations prior to his soccer career.  This film is not recommended for children under 8 and may distress children under 13.  Parental guidance is therefore recommended to 13, due to violence, themes of death and injury, coarse language, and sexual references. 

The main messages from this movie are that we cannot move past bad experiences if we refuse to forgive those who have hurt us and to not judge a book by its cover.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Forgiveness
  • Comradery

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as

  • Sexism and gender roles – A man is derided as a “Nancy boy” for dancing
  • Injuries should be taken seriously and not ignored

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