THEY SURVIVED WORLD WAR II. NOW THEY HAVE TO SURVIVE THE CLEARING.
After the end of World War II, a group of teenage German prisoners-of-war are ordered to find and remove thousands of mines hidden beneath the sand on the Danish west coast. This Oscar-nominated film gives us a piece of post-war history that is anything but flattering – defying the Geneva convention, Danish authorities forced children to risk their limbs and lives searching for mines, resulting in hundreds of deaths. We follow a group of prisoners and their hot-tempered Danish commander (Roland Møller); as expected he turns into a father figure after a while. Good cast, nice views from authentic locations and the film builds tension as the boys nervously work the mines; who’s next to make a mistake?
2015-Denmark-Germany. 100 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Malte Grunert, Mikael Chr. Rieks. Written and directed by Martin Zandvliet. Cinematography: Camilla Hjelm. Costume Design: Stefanie Bieker. Cast: Roland Møller (Carl Leopold Rasmussen), Mikkel Boe Følsgaard (Ebbe Jensen), Laura Bro (Karin), Louis Hoffmann, Joel Basman, Oskar Bökelmann.
Trivia: Original title: Under sandet.
European Film Awards: Best Cinematographer, Costume Designer, Hair & Makeup Artist.
Last word: “A few of them had [acted before]. Louis Hofmann, who played Sebastian, had and Joel Basman, Helmut, had acted before. The other ones hadn’t. The twins had never acted before. Roland [Møller], who plays the sergeant, it’s his first leading role. I cast the boys through Simone Bär, who is normally Michael Haneke’s casting director, and we had a long talk about what kind of boys I wanted and where they should be from – the different social layers of Germany and stuff like that. It was important to me that it wasn’t the normal boys that you’d seen in Christmas movies, that you believed in the boys that were there. So they’re all pretty new in their careers.” (Zandvliet, Interview Magazine)