A young free-minded German 14 year old boy in a northern Lower Saxony province town is in love with his mother. His stepfather identifies him as a competitor, and has him brought to a ... See full summary »
18-year-old Caspar wants to reach the top, no matter what. He carries out small-time break-ins for Jamal, before moving on to work for big player Björn. All goes well, until Jamal's gang ... See full summary »
Gustav Dyekjær Giese,
Oscar Dyekjær Giese,
Lene Maria Christensen
In post-World War II Denmark, the Danish government puts their hated German prisoners of war to work clearing the 1.5 million landmines 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 committed by the Danish government in its history.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Those of you who count the mines, make sure my card is updated. This task is as important as defusing mines." Sgt. Carl Rasmussen (Roland Moller)
In 1945, Denmark needed to defuse the over 2 million landmines left on their western beaches by the Nazis. A Danish sergeant is responsible for 14 German POWs, youngsters all, to find the 45 K on one beach, after which the boys can go home.
That precision mentioned in the opening quote lies at the heart of the film's considerable suspense because one unaccounted for mine can take multiple lives. And so, the sergeant has to corral teenage workers, motivate them with fear, and keep at bay his growing affection for them.
Therein lies the real suspense: Will he learn to love and protect them or will he be brutal as he was in the opening scene? For a story somewhat like Hurt Locker, Land of Mine is a minimalist work of complexity, unadorned with the usual tropes of thrillers but full of the humanity to make it rise above just another WW II sentimental reflection.
Besides the tension built into the always impending explosions is the question of whether or not the Danes will act like Nazis suppressing the lads and hurrying them on to death. The moments of warmth between the sergeant and the boys are few but revelatory enough for us to hope their innocence and bravery will win him over.
Land of Mine will usher you into a war zone you've not seen handled so well in cinema, except possibly Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion in the '30's. The drama, replete with many dramatic elements and even Chekov's gun, will make you wince at the possibly grotesque fate of faultless boys and their conflicted sergeant.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this