In post-World War II Denmark, the Danish government puts their hated German prisoners of war to work clearing the 1.5 million land mines from the western beaches of the country. At one such beach, Sgt. Carl Leopold Rasmussen finds himself in charge of one such labor unit and finds they are largely all inexperienced boys. As the boys struggle to complete and survive their dangerous work, Sgt. Rasmussen's hate for Germans gradually cools as he grows to understand the horrific situation these child soldiers are in even as the mines claim more and more victims. Eventually, the boys and the Sergeant must decide what can be done in a situation that would be later be denounced by later generations as the worst war crime in Danish history.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
'LAND OF MINE': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
A Danish-German war film (based on actual events) about teenage German prisoners of war, that were forced to clear mines from postwar Denmark (shortly after the end of World War II). The film has received nearly unanimous rave reviews from critics, and it's won (or been nominated for) multiple prestigious awards; including a 2017 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The movie was written and directed by Martin Zandvliet, and it stars Roland Moller. I agree with all of it's critical acclaim, it's an amazing film!
Historians estimate that following the end of World War II (in Europe), 2,000 captured German soldiers were forced to remove mines, with their bare hands, from former warzones. Many of these prisoners of war were teenagers, and they were also extremely inexperienced. It's also estimated that nearly half of them were killed, or severely wounded, by the mines. This film tells the story of a small group of those teenage German prisoners, in Denmark. It focuses on their relationship with their commanding Danish sergeant (Moller), who at first hates the boys and then grows sympathetic towards them.
The movie is extremely emotional and involving. Only the least empathetic viewer could not feel something for these boys, that were forced to go through this unbelievably horrendous experience. The relationship they have with their enemy sergeant is also extremely touching and powerful. By focusing on a part of World War II history that's rarely covered (in films at least), the movie also seems original and surprisingly educational. It's a very moving story about forgiveness, in the harshest of circumstances, as well. I think it's a masterpiece that everyone should see. I'd almost give it a perfect rating, but I'm slightly hesitant to for some reason.
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