WATCH: GERMAN PRISONERS DIFFUSE 45,000 LANDMINES IN 'LAND OF MINE'
Just when we thought we’d run out of original post-war stories, Danish writer and director, Martin Zandvliet, brings us a fresh story from the mine-ridden Danish coast. In Land of Mine, Zandvliet humanises the hostile and exploitive post-WWII Danish-German relationship, and the struggle for both sides to rebuild themselves after such bitter conflict.
Land of Mine follows a group of German POWs who, under the supervision of Danish Sergeant Rasmussen (Roland Møller), are tasked with the removal of 45,000 landmines. Vulnerable, starved and sleep-deprived, the boys set out on their task motivated by the promise of returning home. Over the course of the film, a paternal relationship appears to develop between captor and captives, proving that, once again, the human spirit triumphs over all.
Land of Mine appears to bring audiences right into the heart of the post-war struggle. From the trailer alone, I quickly became attached to the German soldiers, who, at the end of the day, are just teenage boys. The vivid scenes of the boys attempting to diffuse bombs are tense, and appear to be without inappropriate hyperbole. The boys don’t appear to be given distinct personalities, however this doesn’t seem to detract from the poignancy of their journey.
Zandvliet delicately explores the parallel struggle to rebuild a sense cultural identity, but also regain a sense of empathy. Innovative and highly emotional, Land of Mine reinforces that post-war stories remain a timely theme.