TIFF Day One: Land of Mine


Land of Mine (2015, Denmark) directed and written by Martin Zandvliet  is about a young group of German POWs who were conscripted to dig up land mines with their bare hands.

The film demonstrated how dangerous land mines are.  The film also contrasted the drama of  defusing dangerous bombs with the confrontation of defusing human rage and its need for revenge.

This blog is not to put a spoiler on the film but to talk about memories raised by this film.

Some years ago, I invited members of the Canadian military for a presentation to 1,000 school children on land mines at a World Food Day event held at Metro Hall in Toronto. Land mines are a food security issue as food producers cannot venture to work in the fields. As an example, the presence of unexploded and abandoned artillery from World War Two (WWII) in the Pacific Islands region continues to endanger lives and hinder development 70 years after the conclusion of hostilities. Yet land mines continue to be produced, and used, continue to maim and kill, and some countries continue to refuse to agree to ban land mines.

The biggest land mine that needs to be defused is the human rage that continues to declare war and build fences. “Land of mine” is like a play of words, contrasting that dangerous weapon with that dangerous selfishness that means only to exclude the other.

About macconlon

Artist, activist, community organizer now working as a Community Minister for the Davenport Perth Community Ministry of the Shining Waters Region of the United Church of Canada.
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