Land of Mine - August Film of the Month!

Posted 4 August 2017 about Land of Mine.

land of mine

After a successful premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, where the film was met with a standing ovation, Land of Mine received a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Academy Awards. It tells the near untold tale of a group of young German soldiers, captured as POW’s at the end of WWII. Trapped in Denmark, the young men are tasked with the brutal and punishing job of defusing thousands of land mines buried along the coast. The soldiers – many of them still in their teens – are wildly unequipped to do the job, but cornered without sympathy they must work towards their freedom.

Though Land of Mine is a period drama, its narrative and themes are all too timely. The film muses on the grim complexities of war and post-wartime repercussions. The premise is tightly knotted with conflicting concepts of justice and revenge: An inhumane act that is on the one side outwardly and blatantly cruel, and on the other an almost understandable reaction in the post-WWII context. Land of Mine does a fantastic job of showing both sides of a deeply complicated story. It humanises all parties, allowing the German soldiers space to be vulnerable young men caught in a terrible situation. Representing the German soldiers in this way could be seen as a controversial decision, however, this humanisation is arguably necessary, particularly in such a time of global conflict where it can be difficult to look past the stereotypes of wider groups of people to see individual humans - each affected by world politics in different ways. It’s a theme that was built upon in July’s film of the month The Beguiled, with Colin Farrell’s Union soldier at once being judged as an enemy and someone to fear despite his vulnerability, then later welcomed - ‘It seems the enemy is not what we believe’. Ultimately, Farrell’s character didn’t have the best intentions, but these unsavoury motivations are separate from his involvement with the military. Both films offer interesting commentary on the complex moral decisions made during wartime, and how the insidious nature of war reaches far more widely than just the battlefront.

More Like This:

  • Son of Saul (2015) - László Nemes
  • A War (2015) - Tobias Lindholm
  • A Hijacking (2012) - Tobias Lindholm
  • The Hunt (2012) – Thomas Vinterberg
  • City of Life and Death (2009) – Chuan Lu
  • Cast & Crew

    Director: Martin Zandvliet

    Writer: Tobias Lindholm

    Stars: Roland Møller, Louis Hofmann

Mikaela Smith

Film Exhibition, Distribution and Sales TraineeRead more posts by Mikaela Smith

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