"LAND OF MINE" — 3½ stars — Roland Møller, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman, Emil Belton, Oskar Belton; not rated; probable R; Sundance
“Land of Mine” only has a fraction of the violence and gore that has defined war films like “Saving Private Ryan” or even “Schindler’s List.” But in a way, its sparse violence is harder to take, and “Land of Mine” is a gripping portrait of humanity and forgiveness that is painfully difficult to watch.
The film is set in Denmark in the aftermath of World War II, as captured German soldiers were forced to locate, diffuse and remove an estimated 1.5 million land mines placed on Danish shores during Nazi occupation. Our view is confined to a small group of soldiers under the watch of Sgt. Carl Rasmussen (Roland Møller), who arrives on screen beating a German soldier senseless for carrying around a Danish flag.
Rasmussen’s anger is understandable, but his prisoners are practically children. The Germans assigned to the sergeant were among the last desperate waves of the German military, innocent in every sense besides affiliation. But Rasmussen is not interested in technicalities, and after a tense training session under Lt. Ebbe Jensen (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), Rasmussen’s group is sent to the beach in search of the mines.
The process of location and disarmament is comparatively simple. The pri...
READ FULL ARTICLE