7:30 PM, 5th September, 2017
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE EMBASSY OF DENMARK
World War II has just ended, and German soldiers in Denmark are readying to leave for home. But before they go, the Danes want their beaches back – they’re demanding that the Germans stick around to remove the two million mines they buried in the country’s North Sea shoreline before they leave. Sound fair? Unfortunately, the German forces available for the task are no longer the ones who invaded in 1940; they’re conscripted troops from later in the war – no more than teenagers, some of them not even that.
A veteran (Møller) is put in charge of a group of these boys. There’s no love lost – not at first, anyway; after years of Nazi occupation he’s not inclined to forgive these soldiers merely because they’re young. But nor does he want them to die, and after a while he finds himself fighting for them, worried that their nerves are gradually being worn raw by the constant, underlying danger of a sudden explosion. Our nerves in the audience aren’t exactly spared, either.
This is a quiet film (except when it is suddenly very loud), and one which finds humanity in surprising places. One word of warning, though: before watching, you might want to visit an excellent website that was recommended to me: www.doesthedogdie.com. I believe it’s better to know.