Land of Mine

After Germany surrendered in 1945, the German people not only experienced a country in rubbles but left 1,500,000 land mines dotting the West Coast of Denmark, as the Nazis thought that the Allied invasion would come from there. The Danes, while marching German POWs out of the country, retained 5,000, boys in some cases who had never seen battle, to remove the land mines in three months. Since only 2,500 survived the perilous task, Director Martin Zandvliet decided to film Land of Mine to dramatize what happened to one hypothetical contingent, in which only 4 survived out of 14. Sergeant Carl Rasmussen (played by Roland Møller) is placed in charge of the unit. Although extremely harsh at the beginning, most perspicacious filmviewers will predict that he will soften and eventually try to mitigate the excesses of their assignment—a lack of food to feed them and a lack of sympathy for their plight. But there are many subplots, including three explosions that will cause audiences to jump from their chairs, until titles at the end reveal the statistics cited above. The Political Film Society has nominated Land of Mine for a 2016 award as best film exposé as well as best film, however subliminally, arguing the case for peaceful methods of resolving conflicts.  MH