Land of Mine – or rather mines – ready to shoot for Zandvliet
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- After A Funny Man, Martin Zandvliet and producer Mikael Rieks will make their third film together – about a dark chapter in Danish history
While the world is marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day – the 6 June Allied invasion of Normandy during World War 2 – Danish director Martin Zandvliet will shortly start principal photography for Land of Mine, tackling a dark chapter in Danish post-WW2 history.
In the days following Nazi Germany’s capitulation in May 1945, a British convoy crossed the German-Danish border with around 2,000 young German prisoners of war and left them with the Danish authorities. After a three-day course in learning how to defuse explosives, they were ordered to remove the two million land mines that German forces had placed under sand along the Danish west coast. Half of them lost their lives or were severely mutilated.
“The film is not an attempt to point fingers or create a collective guilt almost 70 years after the war ended – it is more a desire to show how a population’s hatred created fear and terror among a group of young boys who had one sole desire in life: to go home to their mothers and fathers,” said Zandvliet about his film revolving around hate, revenge and forgiveness. “It is the story of young German boys sacrificed in the adults’ dirty war games - how they were made into villains and had to pay for all the war’s atrocities, despite only being kids when the war broke out.”
Land of Mine will be the third Zandvliet feature produced by Mikael Rieks, for Nordisk Film Production, after, most recently, A Funny Man [+see also:
film profile] (2011) – a biopic of Danish comedian Dirch Passer – which took close to 500,000 admissions domestically. Co-produced by Germany’s Malte Grunert, of Amusement Park Films, the €4.8 million project will be executive-produced by Nordisk’s Henrik Zein and Majgaard’s Torben Majgaard.
Shooting will begin in July on locations in Jutland where the actual events took place, and south of the Danish-German border. The lead character, Danish sergeant Carl Leopold Rasmussen, who took out all his rage on the young German prisoners until a tragic incident made him change his view of the enemy, will be played by Roland Møller (R [+see also:
film profile], Northwest [+see also:
interview: Michael Noer