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Land of Mine – Film Review (Scandinavian Film Festival 2016)

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by Elsie C (subscribe)
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A profound war film based on true events
Few movies can make you clutch the edge of your seat one moment and then jump from it the next from the beginning to end. Land of Mine is one of those movies. Screened as part of The Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival, the movie garnered the title of Best Film at the Danish Film Awards along with five other awards.

Land of Mine
The young prisoners of war belly crawl across Denmark's landmine riddled west coast in Land of Mine

Based on real life events, Martin Zandvliet's film follows a group of young German soldiers captured by Danish troops after the 1945 fall of Nazi Germany. Barely out of adolescence, the boys are put to work clearing millions of land mines strewn along Denmark's coastline by the Nazi Germans. With little more than a single practice run at defusing mines and armed with only driftwood to probe for the lethal mines along the endless stretches of beach, the raw emotion of war and its aftermath hits the viewer with full force.

Land of Mine
Captured German soldier Helmut Morbach, played by Joel Basman, is urged to battle on by fellow prisoner of war, Sebastian Schumann, played by Louis Hofmann

Fuelled by resentment about the German occupation of their land, the Danish soldiers actively violate the Geneva Convention by subjecting prisoners of war to forced labour. They seize every opportunity to impart their long-held animosity onto the captured boys. Roland Mψller brings to life the dominating character of Rasmussen, a hostile Danish sergeant charged with supervising the youths. He cares little if the boys live or die, or whether they eat or sleep, so long as his country's beaches become free of German mines. The physical, emotional and mental vulnerability of the young Germans become increasingly apparent as the days unfold, and even Rasmussen himself begins to experience an internal moral conflict.

A historical war thriller that highlights the extremes of human emotion, Land of Mine is a gripping tale about the morality of vengeance. Expect high emotional impact, heart pounding moments and a risk of tears.

Land of Mine
A multi-award winning film by writer and director Martin Zandvliet

Played in German with English subtitles, Land of Mine screened at Cinema Paradiso in Northbridge. Check out all of the films showing as part of the Scandinavian Film Festival.

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Where: Cinema Paradiso, 164 James St, Northbridge, WA 6003
Cost: Cost of a standard movie ticket
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