SPOILER: In 1945, in Denmark, after the defeat of Germany, the tough veteran Sergeant Carl Rasmussen is assigned by Lieutenant Ebbe Jensen to defuse and remove 2.2 million mines in the Danish West Coast to make the beaches safe. Carl receives a group of teenage Germans prisoners of war to clear mines. With the formal promise of Ebbe, Carl tells to the youngsters that when the task is accomplished, the survivors would be released to return to Germany. After the initial hostility with the enemy, Carl realizes that the POWs are too young and befriends the boys. But when a mine in a clear area blows up his dog, Carl forces the boys to walk together on the safe areas to check whether any mine was left behind. Months later, the survivors complete their task but Ebbe sends them to another mined field. What will Carl do? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Firstly, I'd like to say that war movies don't interest or intrigue me too much. I'm a pure pacifist and unable to comprehend the hatred within humans. However, when I heard that his movie has been nominated for Oscar, I gave it a chance and now I'm certainly glad I did.
What made me even more sensitive and upset in this movie is torturing young boys, treating them really badly, learning them things neither the adults should ever learn to do. It's impossible to avoid the fact that many children were greatly involved in many wars since they are so easy to manipulate, afraid to oppose and deny but they are also fast- learners, therefore ideal to recruit.
Then, there is the other side of the story presented by Sgt. Carl which showed me that everyone has a heart, no matter how rough and ruthless they seem on the outside. Even though I support the humane way of treating people, I can understand why it should be different in war. The situation and tasks are too serious to risk having someone slacking off. Sgt. Carl was just following his orders but he gradually put his guard down which was quite unexpected and I think it's generally the right approach, whatever the conditions are. Things can mostly be successfully dealt with without causing traumas or should war state be an exception?
So, Land of Mine opened an interesting question: Does it make you a greater leader and a bigger man by putting fear in your inferiors' bones, having no heart at all and having people that despise you? Or does the compassionate and understanding approach, having people that trust you and feel at least a little more comfortable considering the situation?
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