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Land of Mine

Martin Zandvliet

Inspired by real events, Land of Mine, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards, follows the little-known story of the young German prisoners of war who were handed over to Danish authorities in the days following Germany's surrender in May 1945.

"A deeply powerful, emotionally resonant account of a forgotten chapter in history..."

Tough veteran sergeant Carl Rasmussen (Roland Moller) is assigned by Lieutenant Ebbe Jensen (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) to defuse and remove two million mines on the Danish west coast to keep the beaches safe. He takes advantage of the teenage POWs in his charge, ordering them to dig up the mines from the sand with their bare hands. Rasmussen callously promises their freedom and release back to Germany when the task is complete; but after initial hostility he slowly begins to sympathise with their plight. His superiors remain resentful of their former occupiers and are steadfast in the belief the young men should be treated with contempt, but Rasmussen, fully aware of the cruelty of their mission, begins to doubt his orders.

The young cast, made up mostly of German and Swiss teenage actors, are excellent, particularly twins Emil and Oskar Belton who play two brothers captured in Germany’s dying days, desperate to stay together at all costs. Shocking and tense, Land of Mine offers a deeply powerful, emotionally resonant account of a forgotten chapter in history, and a timely reminder of the power of forgiveness.