May 1945, World War II has just come to an end and Sergeant Carl Leopold Rasmussen is assigned a unit of German prisoners of war to disarm the almost two million land mines that had been armed along the west coast of Denmark by the German occupying forces. But when the unit arrives the Sergeant finds himself with 14 POWs who are merely teenagers.

"Land of Mine" tells a painful chapter of World War II that is usually left out from the history books. The repercussions of a war last a long time after we declare it's over and the troops withdraw. This is the main focus of the film: innocents dealing with the atrocious acts of those who fought before them. While the story is fictionalized, the facts at its core are real: many of the 2.000 Germans assigned to disarming the land mines in Denmark were just young boys. For his third fictional feature director Martin Zandvliet tackles the concealed ghosts and shadows of Danish postwar history both from the perspective of the Danes who fought for their homeland and from that of the German invaders left in the country.

The director's view is always balanced and free from stereotypes and clichés. This consequently helped him to turn a historical event into a universal story of forgiveness, friendship and hope that is still relevant and current today.

Giampietro Balia / PÖFF

Denmark / Germany 2015