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Land of Mine (German with English Subtitles)

When World War II ended, many Germans were retained by the Denmark military to clear landmines that were placed on miles of the beaches (presumably in anticipation of an allied coastal invasion) by German soldiers; the majority did not survive. The film, based on true events, tells the story of about a dozen mostly very young men tasked with clearing a beach of mines and who were promised that they could return home once the task was complete. This is a very intense movie. The director keeps the tension high during most of it beginning as the boys are first trained to defuse the mines and then following them as they are on their hands, knees and stomachs clearing the beach, inch by inch, never knowing what tricks are under the sand. Besides the constant tension, the strength of the film is in the presentation of numerous moral and ethical dilemmas associated with war and shows that war can be just as devastating in its aftermath. Big thumbs up for me for a film that is sometimes difficult to watch but always engaging challenging; it is also sad to watch what happened to these men who were far too young to be in war. The film presents a slice of history of which I had no knowledge and now won’t ever forget.

About Gary Burkholder

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