"Land of Mine" a powerful throwback

Roland Møller (left) appears in a scene from "Land of Mine."

It's been a month since the Academy Awards, but nominated films are still finding their ways into theaters.

The latest is "Land of Mine" the best foreign film nominee from Denmark that is a powerful old school piece of filmmaking, an emotional journey from writer-director Martin Zandvliet that is full of tension and suspense.

"Land of Mine" is based on the true story of a group of young German POWs forced to clear a beach of thousands of land mines under the watch of a Danish sergeant (Roland Møller) right after World War II. 

At first the sergeant is hard on the boys, led by Sebastian (Louis Hofmann), but he slowly begins to sympathize with their plight - coming to respect the danger that these young men face on a daily basis.

The storytelling is simple but effective, with Zandvliet's script doing a nice job of establishing these young boys and showing the relationship that built between them and the sergeant.

As a director Zandvliet uses the landscape as his canvas to create tension and establish how dangerous this work was. There are several jarring moments where the danger becomes all too real.

The cast is solid, especially Møller - who is asked to go from your typical hard-line militant to sympathetic leader.

If you are a fan of World War II films or are interested in one of the untold stories in that era, "Land of Mine" is definitely a film worth seeing.


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