In English and German comes “The Keeper,” a true story movie about a Hitler follower who became an English soccer star.
Bernhard Trautmann, born Germany 1923. A Hitler Youth member. A Nazi paratrooper in the Luftwaffe. Captured. Noting his agility in Britain’s POW work camp, a soccer team co-opts his participation. The local rabbi, whose family was killed by the Nazis, preached forgiveness to protesters. He wrote in the newspaper: “If this footballer is a decent fellow, I would say no harm in it.”
Eventually awarded Footballer of the Year and Order of the British Empire, Trautmann — who died at 89 in 2013 — is played by David Kross. Calling from Hamburg, Kross said: “We shot this in Munich and Ireland. This movie is about two countries coming together. I didn’t know the man’s story but I read the book about him. Fortunately, I played soccer when I was younger and always wanted to be a football player. Also, they gave me a goalkeeper’s coach.”
Where did he perfect his English?
“My first two films were in German. 2008 I made my English language debut in ‘The Reader’ with Kate Winslet. I had a dialect coach. It was difficult. I spent three months learning English.
“But this story’s about forgiveness. World War II he fought on the Eastern Front. A prisoner of war in a work camp, Trautmann went through his own guilt. Eventually he fell in love with and married the daughter of the man who first discovered him as a POW in 1950, the football trainer’s daughter who was initially against him. It’s a film about overcoming hate. In the beginning, 20,000 people outside the arena protested. The team’s captain said: ‘There is no war in this dressing room.’ Sport became a tool for integration. Team spirit proved stronger than political differences. Those values should still be fought for in sports today.”
“The Keeper” opens in virtual and live, in-person cinemas on Friday of this Jewish Holy Week.
Remember Sophia Loren? Now 86, star of classic Hollywood days, “The Life Ahead” is her first film in 10 years. Playing a Holocaust survivor she bonds with a Senegalese orphan. Listen, it’s in Italian. Her son Edoardo directed. And her quote: “All you see on me I owe to spaghetti” … And remember “Angels in America”? A planned amfAR benefit will include a 60-minute read of its scenes with Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson, Paul Dano, Andrew Rannells — and Roy Cohn being played by — Glenn Close! … Remember the Russian Tea Room? Owner Ken Biberaj reopening for dinner tonight. It’s social distancing over the chicken kiev.
Going back to electoral college
Mumbled about in DC: 1892’s Supreme Court ruled states may choose their own method to pick the electors who elect the president. Our Electoral College system allows state legislatures to bypass voters. Republicans control 29 state legislatures totaling nearly 294 Electoral College votes — only 270 are required to win. Rewriting their laws allows them to choose electors.
Independent of the voters, they’d simply re-elect Trump. Seven have Dem governors who’d veto that. But in 22 states, legislators could deliver Trump 214 electoral votes (if he doesn’t win them outright), including Republican-controlled Florida (29), Texas (38), Georgia (16), Arizona (11), Ohio (18). Legislative fiat instead of the popular election of electors could deliver any needed additional votes and elect DJT. Doubtful the states would permit, nor would Supreme Court allow, this deviation from our 145 years of popular voting. But even if one bypassed its electorate, we’d have the standoff like the Tilden-Hayes debacle of 1876.
Meanwhile, something named Brock Pierce from Minnesota, age 39, is also running — or stumbling — for president. He sells bitcoins. Says running is a struggle. Learning that alone makes him eligible to stand in a corner in the Oval Office.
The United States of America is now playing Constitutional Chicken.
Weather’s turning chilly. Our two contenders used up all the hot air.
Only in the presidential race, kids, only in the presidential race.