Keswick Film Club - Land of Mine

Sunday 1st October 5:00 PM

Land of Mine 

Director: Martin Zandvliet Country: Denmark
Cert: 15 Year: 2015 Length: 100 mins Language: German/English

Synopsis

At the end of World War Two, the Germans, suspecting that the allies intend to invade through Denmark, buried two MILLION land mines on the beaches of the west coast there. "And so, following the war's end, the British and Danes forced 2,000 German prisoners of war to locate and defuse those land mines ... by hand.

So here we have a horrible human situation in which we understand both points of view. On the one hand, we have the Allies thinking, "You planted them. You get them out." You have a people anticipating their children running on the beach and getting dismembered. You have an entire coastline rendered unusable.

On the other hand, you have these pathetic German kids - some of them underage teens conscripted in the last desperate phase of the war - who are victims of Hitler almost as much as the Allies" - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle.

This is, then, a war film, but not about the war. Martin Zandvliet's story takes up this dichotomy by following a tough Danish sergeant, put in charge of the PoWs, who starts off hating them as Nazis but, inevitably, begins to sympathise with them as they carry out their gruesome task. It will hardly be a spoiler to tell you that there are some explosions, but Zandvliet manages to echo the tension the Germans would have been feeling: "He keeps outguessing us, and this outguessing serves an important function. With a task like this, there’s no such thing as routine and not one moment that is safe" - LaSalle again.

Critics

open_quote Writer-director Zandvliet has crafted a handsome, affecting and questioning film about post-war revenge and forgiveness close_quote Brad Wheeler, Globe And Mail


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