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Land of Mine, Under sandet

Land of Mine, Under sandet

,lit.  'Under the Sand') is a 2015 Danish-German historical drama film directed by Martin Zandvliet . It was shown in the Platform section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival .It was selected and nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Academy Awards .The film is inspired by real events and tells the story of German POWs sent to clear mines in Denmark after World War II . It is believed that more than 2,000 German soldiers were forced to remove mines, and nearly half of them lost their lives or limbs. Many of them were only teenagers.

In the days following the surrender of Germany in May 1945 a group of young German prisoners of war were handed over to the Danish authorities and subsequently sent out to the West Coast , where they were ordered to remove the more than two million mines that the Germans had placed in the sand along the coast. With their bare hands, crawling around in the sand, the boys were forced to perform the dangerous work under the leadership of the Danish sergeant, Carl Leopold Rasmussen ( Roland Møller ). Most of them are teenage boys conscripted by Hitler in the last days of the war, and they are hopelessly ill-equipped to carry out their dangerous job. An early scene of the captured German soldiers being harassed by the Danes shows the hatred that the Danes felt toward their former occupiers. Rasmussen shares this contempt, and he is determined to treat the young soldiers under his command without the least bit of sympathy.

As the film begins, the young Germans are dropped off by trucks at the seaside; most are still in their teens. They wear confusion and defeat in their eyes. There to greet them is sergeant Rasmussen. He marches his squad out on the dunes each day to prod for mines. Yet this seemingly endless task soon starts to look like a blood-letting, and even Rasmussen grows conflicted in his feelings toward his young charges.

As time passes, he actually comes to appreciate them, especially Sebastian Schumann, who is the natural leader of the group. He realizes that these boys have nothing to do with the wartime German occupation of Denmark. In the end, out of fourteen boys, only four survive, including Sebastian, and although they had been promised that they would be sent home after defusing all of the mines, the Danish authorities decide that since they need experienced Germans, they must stay. Rasmussen, finding that decision extremely unfair, decides to help them escape and they are finally able to return home.

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