In post-World War II Denmark, a group of young German POWs are forced to clear a beach of thousands of land mines under the watch of a Danish Sergeant who slowly learns to appreciate their plight.
Under sandet (2015) Online
In post-World War II Denmark, the Danish government puts their hated German prisoners of war to work clearing the 1.5 million landmines from the western beaches of the country. At one such beach, Sgt. Carl Leopold Rasmussen finds himself in charge of one such labor unit and finds they are largely all inexperienced boys. As the boys struggle to complete and survive their dangerous work, Sgt. Rasmussen's hate for Germans gradually cools as he grows to understand the horrific situation these child soldiers are in even as the mines claim more and more victims. Eventually, the boys and the Sergeant must decide what can be done in a situation that would be later be denounced by later generations as the worst war crime committed by the Danish government in its history.
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|Roland Møller||-||Sgt. Carl Rasmussen|
|Louis Hofmann||-||Sebastian Schumann|
|Joel Basman||-||Helmut Morbach|
|Mikkel Boe Følsgaard||-||Lt. Ebbe Jensen|
|Zoe Zandvliet||-||Elisabeth, Karins Daughter (as Zoé Zandvliet)|
|Mads Riisom||-||Soldier Peter|
|Oskar Bökelmann||-||Ludwig Haffke|
|Emil Belton||-||Ernst Lessner|
|Oskar Belton||-||Werner Lessner|
|Leon Seidel||-||Wilhelm Hahn|
|Karl Alexander Seidel||-||Manfred|
|Maximilian Beck||-||August Kluger|
|August Carter||-||Rudolf Selke|
|Tim Bülow||-||Hermann Marklein|
The film was shot at historically authentic locations, including in Oksbøllejren and areas in Varde.
The use of German children for post WW2 mine sweeping has by many historians been declared as the worst case of war crimes ever conducted by the Danish state. Specifically, it is explicitly forbidden in the Geneva Conventions that any Prisoner of War be forced to perform dangerous and/or unhealthy labor.
In the movie the Danish Sgt. Rasmussen lead the mine clearing operation. In real life these missions were controlled by the British forces, but with German Officers in command of each team.
The actors were trained in mine clearance 'anno 1945' at the Military Training Compound 'Oksbøl'. During training they found a 'live' mine. It had been there for seventy-plus years - and was in fine working condition. The mine was removed and disarmed by the danish de-mining experts.
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.
Selected as Denmark's submission for the Foreign Language Film Award at the 89th Academy Awards.
Director Martin Pieter Zandvliet mentioned that when filming "Land of Mine," the young actors didn't know when they were going to be killed off, and were sent home each time it happened. This led to the actors feeling increasingly lonely and isolated as filming went on, similar to their characters in the movie.