The Drummer and the Keeper [EN] | FFEN 2018

FSK noch unbekannt OT: The Drummer and the Keeper (Ireland 2017)
Länge: 94 minutes
Genre: Drama
Regie: Nick Kelly
Drehbuch: Nick Kelly
Darsteller: Dermot Murphy, Jacob McCarthy, Adrian Hudson, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Charlie Kelly, Peter Coonan, Annie Ryan

Gabriel (Dermot Murphy) is a talented drummer. But just before the breakthrough, the band threatens with his ejection – the guys are fed up with his extreme mood swings, which he urgently needs to get a grip on. His doctor diagnoses a bipolar disorder and advises him to a therapeutic football training. On the field, Gabriel clashes with goalkeeper Christopher (Jacob McCarthy), who suffers from Asperger syndrome. 

In order to stay in the team, the coach asks both to make friends. Christopher takes that literally – much to the annoyance of Gabriel, who will not let go of his obtrusive follower. But despite all the differences and initial difficulties, they actually develop an unusual friendship: both feel connected in their otherness – with unimaginable consequences…

» Hier gibt es die deutsche Version


THE DRUMMER AND THE KEEPER tells the story of an unusual friendship and shows us with a big heart, that we need to stop reducing people with mental illness only to their illness…

From Ireland, this small, but extremely fine film, has found it’s way to the International Film Festival Emden-Norderney. Director Nick Kelly, who also wrote the screenplay, succeeds in creating an unconventional film that touches deeply, but at the same time shows us, what is going wrong in our society. Because often – if not even always – we reduce a person with Asperger’s or a bipolar disorder to their illness and forget, that there are way more other things, that shape their personality.

What makes the movie interesting, is the idea of combining the ups and downs of a bipolar human with the almost linear everyday life of a person suffering from Asperger’s. This provides some very interesting friction points throughout the story. It’s not by chance that the role of the bipolar is a rock musician, after all, director Nick Kelly is a rock musician himself and thus knows what he’s talking about. „Actually, the life of a rock musician is like that of a bipolar“, Kelly says in an interview with „After all, you sit on the bus for 23 hours or wait for something to happen, and then you’re incredibly excited for one hour.“

Also, the aspect of Asperger’s syndrome is not completely foreign to Kelly, because his own son is autistic. No wonder the characters in THE DRUMMER AND THE KEEPER are so real and authentic.

The supporting actors in the scenes that take place in an institute are also members of an autistic drama group. Before the shooting began, his producer asked him, if that was not too difficult, but Kelly countered that finding ten actors and making them all play different aspects of autism would have been much more complicated.

THE DRUMMER AND THE KEEPER is a wonderful movie that will hopefully somehow find its way into our theaters or homes. There’s rarely been a film about the mentally ill, that’s been so authentic and affectionate. 


At the International Film Festival Emden-Norderney I had the chance to talk to director and screenwriter Nick Kelly about his film THE DRUMMER AND THE KEEPER. 

About Nick Kelly

Nick Kelly began his career in the 1990s as a singer and songwriter for the Irish band „The Fat Lady Sings“, released four solo albums, partly under his stage name Alien Envoy, and is considered one of Ireland’s most innovative independent musicians. Since 2003 he has been working as a scriptwriter and director and has made several short films that have been screened and awarded at film festivals worldwide. The short film „Shoe“ received an Oscar nomination in 2011. With THE DRUMMER AND THE KEEPER he gives his feature film debut, which was awarded „Best First Irish Feature“ at the Galway Film Fleadh.




Comments Closed

Kommentare sind geschlossen.


Weitere Beiträge in dieser Kategorie

End of Sentence (EIFF 2019) EN

Newly widowed Frank Fogle (Oscar®-nominee John Hawkes) embarks on a journey to Ireland to scatter his late wife’s ashes. His estranged son, Sean (Logan Lerman), recently released from prison, agrees to join only when his father promises that they’ll never see each other again following the trip. After revelations surface about an old flame of […] Weiterlesen

Robert the Bruce (EIFF 2019) EN

Scotland 1306, Robert the Bruce (Angus Macfadyen) crowns himself King and takes the ambition of Scotland’s freedom as his own. But he cannot overcome England’s power: defeated again and again, his army is scattered and Scotland’s nobility abandons him. Hunted, with a price on his head, he finds himself alone and wounded. The cause of […] Weiterlesen

Hearts Beat Loud [EN] | EIFF 2018

In the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, single dad and record store owner Frank (Nick Offerman) is preparing to send his hard-working daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) off to college, while being forced to close his vintage shop. Hoping to stay connected through their shared musical passions, Frank urges Sam to turn their weekly „jam […] Weiterlesen

Dead In a Week (Or Your Money Back) [EN]

After several failed suicide attempts, 27-year-old William Morrison (Aneurin Barnard) decides to outsource the task to Leslie O’Neill (Tom Wilkinson), a contract killer on the brink of retirement. But with the contract signed and death assured within a week (or his money back), William finally discovers a reason to live in Ellie Adams (Freya Mavor). […] Weiterlesen

Romans [EN] | EIFF 2017

Thirty-something Malky works as a labourer demolishing the church where he was abused as a twelve-year-old, engaging in an emotionally distant sexual relationship with Emma and indulging in bouts of casual violence. The effects of his childhood abuse remain deeply embedded, and when the priest responsible returns to town Malky is forced to confront his […] Weiterlesen

Edie [EN]

After the death of her control obsessive husband, whom she cared for until his end, her daughter (Wendy Morgan) would like to put 84 years old Edie (Sheila Hancock) into a retirement home. But she does not even think about it. Rather, she decides to fulfill a life-long dream and to climb the Suilven, an […] Weiterlesen