7.8/10
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Under sandet (2015)

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In post-World War II Denmark, a group of young German POWs are forced to clear a beach of thousands of land mines under the watch of a Danish Sergeant who slowly learns to appreciate their plight.

Director:

Martin Zandvliet
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4,184 ( 10)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 27 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roland Møller ... Sgt. Carl Rasmussen
Louis Hofmann ... Sebastian Schumann
Joel Basman ... Helmut Morbach
Mikkel Boe Følsgaard ... Lt. Ebbe Jensen
Laura Bro ... Karin
Zoe Zandvliet Zoe Zandvliet ... Elisabeth, Karins Daughter (as Zoé Zandvliet)
Mads Riisom Mads Riisom ... Soldier Peter
Oskar Bökelmann Oskar Bökelmann ... Ludwig Haffke
Emil Belton Emil Belton ... Ernst Lessner
Oskar Belton Oskar Belton ... Werner Lessner
Leon Seidel Leon Seidel ... Wilhelm Hahn
Karl Alexander Seidel Karl Alexander Seidel ... Manfred
Maximilian Beck Maximilian Beck ... August Kluger
August Carter August Carter ... Rudolf Selke
Tim Bülow Tim Bülow ... Hermann Marklein
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They survived World War II. Now they have to survive the clearing. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, some grisly images, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark | Germany

Language:

German | Danish | English

Release Date:

3 December 2015 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Land of Mine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DKK 35,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,754, 12 February 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$435,266, 25 May 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,164,333, 6 August 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)| DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie the Danish Sgt. Rasmussen lead the mine clearing operation. In real life these missions were controlled by the British forces, but with German Officers in command of each team. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene after Sgt. Rasmussen takes a flag from a German soldier we see him yelling at another soldier with nothing in his hands. In the next shot the flag is back in his hand. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Ebbe Jensen: If they are old enough to go to war, they are old enough to clean up.
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User Reviews

The suspense is a killer.
6 April 2017 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"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.


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