Under sandet (original title) |
A tough, well-made war movie about a little known and very grim moment at the end of the second world war. After the Nazi surrender in 1945, thousands of German PoWs were forced to clear the Danish coastline of the mines that Hitler had ordered be placed there, made to crawl through the sand, gently easing thin metal wands into it to find the evil devices.
This terrifying and suicidally dangerous job was technically proscribed for captured enemy combatants under the Geneva conventions but the Danish authorities thought it was what the Germans deserved. Suspense literally freezes your blood as you watch these baffled and terrified youths, many still in their teens, as each man tries to gingerly unscrew each buried explosive, trying not to wound or kill each other in the process.
Even so, half of them were blown to bits in the six months from May to October, 1945. The brute in charge of the operation is a Danish sergeant whose savage treatment of the defeated German POWs was regarded by the British allies who liberated Norway as justifiable vindication. Gradually, their plight begins to stir some dormant compassion in the Danish, but it’s too late. Even granting them a day off to play ball, their fate is already sealed.
Dir: Martin Zandvliet, 2015, 1 15.
Stars: Roland Møller, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman