A kindergarten teacher's life is completely shattered
when he's falsely accused of molesting a child.
The Hunt (2012)
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
Written by Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm, Susse Wold, Anne Louise Hassing,
Lars Ranthe, Alexandra Rapaport
Oscar Nominations - Best Foreign Film
The Hunt is a brilliant human drama that draws parallels to the Salem Witch Trials, the Red Scare, and any other time where we as human beings have turned on one another as a group. Often times, there's next to no evidence of any wrongdoing, and hearsay becomes God's honest truth. In this film, Thomas Vinterberg shows us exactly what happened between kindergarten teacher Lucas (Mikkelsen) and his friend's toddler daughter Klara (Wedderkopp) right at the beginning. Absolutely nothing. But Klara gets confused and says something in front of an adult, who takes it to heart, tells everybody at the school, and completely ruins Lucas's life forever.
Klara says she saw Lucas's penis, which never happened. What did happen was her brother flashed a brief porno shot at her, and she got it confused with Lucas refusing a gift heart she made for him. It's scary how quick people are to believe children, regardless of proof or the accused's character. I'm not saying we shouldn't believe children's accusations. I'm saying, in every case regardless of the crime, we should act only when we have proof. Otherwise, innocent peoples' lives are destroyed, much like Lucas, who has his closest friends turn on him, his dog murdered, and eyes on him everywhere he goes. Again, he's completely innocent, but the court of public opinion has condemned him.
Mikkelsen delivers one of his finest performances as Lucas, never once making the audience doubt this man's character. The Hunt is a poignant, harrowing drama that will make you scream at your television. While I did feel the ending was a bit of a cop out, the rest of the film is superb. I think Vinterberg, like the rest of us, really hoped for a happy ending, but it's just not realistic.