Land of Mine (Denmark)

Just when you thought we’ve exhausted all fresh ideas for a film about WWII along comes this incredibly affecting Danish film about young German POWs clearing German-laid mines on the west coast of Denmark, based on a bit of history that’s little known even in Denmark.  Thoughtful and stunning camera work sets their bleak tasks against the beauty that is the cold sandy white beaches there. The amazing cast of unknowns means that anyone can be casualty anytime thus further escalating the tension in an already unbearable intense film. One can criticize the ending but, without spoiling it, it is one that is not only earned (as part of the main character’s arc) but also necessary in such a sombre yet humanizing film. But above all, it is Martin Zandvliet’s assured and precise work as both writer and director that shines through. A remarkable film to start my 2015 LFF with.

4 out of 5 stars


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