On Tuesday 3rd March 2020 we will be showing
Land of Mine
Martin Zandvliet 2015 • Denmark/Germany
Roland Møller, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman
Drama, History, War • Rating: 15
Young German POWs are put to work clearing the landmines along the beaches of Western Denmark. It soon becomes clear they are barely out of boyhood, and the film charts a Danish officer’s change in attitude as he begins to understand the horrors they must have had to go through.
“A tough, well-made war movie – sometimes shockingly violent – about a little known and very grim moment at the end of the second world war. After the Nazi surrender in 1945, thousands of German PoWs were forced to clear the Danish coastline of the mines that Hitler had ordered be placed there, made to crawl through the sand, gently easing thin metal wands into it to find the evil devices. This terrifying and suicidally dangerous job was technically proscribed for captured enemy combatants under the Geneva conventions but the Danish authorities thought it was what the Germans deserved.
Roland Møller plays Rasmussen, a grizzled and brutal Danish army sergeant who oversees a work-party of teenage German conscripts, utterly contemptuous of them at first. The Danish officers above Rasmussen are, like him, motivated by icy resolution and retributive cruelty, but it is the British officers (whose idea it was) who are depicted as pure sadists. Is this fair? Who knows? After a while, the mine clearance, like the building of the bridge on the River Kwai, reveals new relationships.”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian