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The director of war drama Land of Mine acknowledges that his World War II tale may involve information that viewers weren’t previously aware of.
Martin Zandvliet told The Hollywood Reporter at the Toronto Film Festival that his film’s events do not depict a proud time in Denmark’s history. The movie centers on German POWs, many of them teenage boys, who are put to work defusing land mines along Denmark’s coastline.
“Usually, we like to make an image of ourselves that we’re the good country, the helpers, the one who helped the Jews flee to Sweden and all that,” Zandvliet said. “But there is also a dark chapter in Denmark where it’s more the eye-for-an-eye mentality, so that was important for me to tell, that we are not just good people.”
“I did quite a lot of research, but it’s mostly based on facts and numbers,” he continued. “There [aren’t] a lot of books written about this. It’s a part of our chapter that historians somehow didn’t want to write about — but maybe they will now.”
The film’s star, Roland Moller, pointed out that the film’s themes also apply to the present-day debate over Denmark’s Syrian refugees.
“There’s a lot of people taking their cars, going down to the border when they come over, and then they bring them to Sweden — it’s actually illegal, but people don’t care,” Moller said. “That’s nice to see — it brings us together somehow.”
In his review of the film, THR film critic Stephen Farber writes that Land of Mine “works as a moving anti-war essay and as a gripping thriller.”
Watch THR‘s discussion with Zandvliet and Moller in the above video.
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