Land of Mine is a tragic unknown chapter about the end of the WWII in Denmark with a stunning young cast and great suspense (watch the cast at the Festival screening here)
When five years of German occupation come to an end in May 1945, team of 12 young German soldiers were assigned to Danish commanders. Their job was neutralizing and removing the landmines the Nazis planted on local beaches in anticipation of Allied invasion.
Martin Zandvliet‘s work tells the story of the team assigned to Danish Army Sgt. Rasmussen (Roland Moller) for three months or so and with 45,000 landmines to neutralize.
A task so dangerous that one of them doesn’t even survive their brief training.
Since from the beginning Rasmussen make no secret about his indifference to their fate, also the woman whose beachside farmstead they’re camped in doesn’t hide her hate for them, and her daughter is too young to understand why all are so unfriendly with these boys so kind with her.
But as time goes by these relationships start to change.
Zandvliet is able to bring on screen an obscure historical chapter in an apolitical way.
Cinematographer and director’s wife Camilla Knudsen uses marvellously the seaside location, the sand dunes of Denmark’s Skallingen peninsula (finally declared mine-free in 2012).
The sound and special effect team also does a super job especially with the harrowing scenes in the minefields which sometimes culminate in devastating explosions.
“Forward march. Through all the cleared areas. Inch by inch! Until we are absolutely certain!”