SPOILER: In 1945, in Denmark, after the defeat of Germany, the tough veteran Sergeant Carl Rasmussen is assigned by Lieutenant Ebbe Jensen to defuse and remove 2.2 million mines in the Danish West Coast to make the beaches safe. Carl receives a group of teenage Germans prisoners of war to clear mines. With the formal promise of Ebbe, Carl tells to the youngsters that when the task is accomplished, the survivors would be released to return to Germany. After the initial hostility with the enemy, Carl realizes that the POWs are too young and befriends the boys. But when a mine in a clear area blows up his dog, Carl forces the boys to walk together on the safe areas to check whether any mine was left behind. Months later, the survivors complete their task but Ebbe sends them to another mined field. What will Carl do? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Several World War II stories are not told in the books, being forgotten over time. Inspired by true events, the film Under Sandet (original title) or Land of Mine (in English) addresses one of these reports, which occurred in Denmark after the war. Fearing that a possible Allied invasion would take place from the Danish coast, Nazi Germany filled the entire length of Denmark's west coast with over 1.5 million mines. With the German surrender and the end of the war in May 1945, more than 2,000 German prisoners of war were sent to disarm those landmines. The story focuses on a small group of young Germans who have the hard and dangerous task of clearing 45,000 mines from a danish beach to gain freedom.
The film, written and directed by Martin Zandvliet, is an excellent motion picture, managing to bring to the screen a work with a new approach, although all the other war films ever made before. With an original script, the director succeeds to convey the bitterness brought by five years of Nazi occupation in Denmark. He also portrays the exploitation of children dragged into war. One of the great successes of Zandvliet's direction and script is to show the war cycles: the winners, the danes, start to adopt the brutal practices of the losers, the Germans. It was precisely for situations like this that the Second World War broke out. France and other winning countries of World War required repairs and imposed absurd sanctions to Germany.
The photography, by Camilla Hjelm, is to behold. And here, again, we have to highlight the director's work. The use of long shot captures the beautiful danish landscape, while more intimate moments allow us to monitor the interactions among those soldiers. Maintaining an intense pace, the tranquility and vastness of the beach are contrasted, at all times, with the danger that awaits them "under the sand", expression that names the film. The soundtrack is catchy and at times heartbreaking, fitting in the drama narrated in the film.
One of the elements that makes Land of Mine a memorable experience is the excellent performance of Roland Møller, playing the role of Sergeant Carl Rasmussen, protagonist of the story. Responsible to oversee the group of German soldiers, Carl struggle to separate his military duties from the hatred he feels for the old enemy. The actor delivered a complex character, moody, bitter and angry, but at the same time which has not lost humanity that exists within him. The rest of the cast was also well chosen and psychologically developed, in which the actors who play the soldiers have different personalities.
With a philosophical discussion about military conflicts as well as being very intense and beautiful, Under Sandet gives us a real view of the complexities of the Second World War and human behavior.
Originally posted in: https://vikingbyheart.blogspot.com.br
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