O@tM: Under Sandet (Land of Mine)



In the wake of the Second World War, the Danish authorities force thousands of German prisoners of war to defuse the millions of mines buried on Danish beaches.

IMDb: 7.9

He’d much rather probe the Danish sergeant’s anus.

The very short synopsis is not just too brief but also unnecessary overdramatic. In fact this ain’t an action thriller or a war movie, it’s more of a quiet meditation about the state of the human mind. So far so boring. No, not really.

But let’s start from the beginning and let me tell you the story, a thing I usually don’t do. It’s 1945 shortly after the war ended. We see a small group of very young german boys, Hitler’s last reserves, now POWs of the Danish authorities. Their task is to clear an area of beach from German landmines. It’s a tedious and very dangerous work, supervised by their warden, a Danish sergeant, their only wish is to finally go home to  their mommas.

»I want you all to blow yourself up!«

Of course there is a lot of mutual mistrust between the parties but over the course of the work, the former enemies learn to work together and trust each other a bit more. The whole movie lives from its cold atmosphere, little gestures and a human warmth you wouldn’t expect in such a setting. It shows when the sergeant tries to get some bigger food rations for his prisoners and when he acts on their behalf against his bosses. It’s a small indy movie, not a Hollywood blockbuster drama but very competently made and acted.

30 years from now this beach will be full with surf hippies.

The Danish/German cast did very well, I guess we’ll hear more about the young actors in coming years. No, not in Hollywood, but in Germany, silly. 😉

CONCLUSION: Hubby and me truly enoyed this refreshing attempt to show a story about human behaviour under extreme circumstances. The pretty high IMDb rating of 7.9 is justified.

The badly needed subtitles are a shambles. Why is it always the guys who can hardly speak English trying to do it. I guess in this case it was a Danish subtitler who struggled with both, the German and the English language. Let’s hope he got at least the Danish parts right.

»HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now the fireworks!!!«

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