The Hunt is a disturbing depiction of how a lie becomes the truth when gossip, doubt and malice are allowed to flourish and ignite a witch-hunt that soon threatens to destroy an innocent man’s life.
This is the next movie showing in the Penticton Art Gallery’s Kitchen Stove Film Series.
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen/NBC’s Hannibal, A Royal Affair, Casino Royale), a former school teacher who has been forced to start over after having overcome a tough divorce and the loss of his job. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered.
An untruthful remark throws the small community into a collective hysteria. The lie about Lucas sexually assaulting a child is spreading and he is forced to fight a lonely fight for his life and dignity.
Director/screenwriter Thomas Vinterberg delivers a powerful drama that was filmed on location in Denmark. Vinterberg (Oscar nominated Last Round) recalls in 1999 a renowned Danish child psychologist spoke about children and their fantasies.
The psychologist talked about concepts such as repressed memory and his theory that thought is a virus.
“Ten years later I needed a psychologist. I called him, and as a belated form of politeness, I read the documents. And was shocked. Spellbound. And I felt that here was a story that needed to be told. A story of a modern day witch hunt. The Hunt is the result of this reading,” said Vinterberg in a press release.
The script was co-written with Tobias Lindholm and was screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and competed in the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award for his role as Lucas. It was the first Danish-language film in the main Cannes competition since 1998. The Hunt was also selected as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. It also recently won the Nordic Council film prize.
The Hunt is set in a small Danish village around Christmas where after struggling to maintain a relationship with his son, Lucas finds a silver lining when he meets co-worker Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport) who eventually moves in as his girlfriend. This is ruined when the daughter of Lucas’s best friend wrongly accuses Lucas of assault.
All of the adults in the community believe her story and dismiss any of her contrary comments as denial. Lucas is shunned by the majority of the community, causing strain in many of his relationships. This is compounded when the nursery staff members that asked leading questions to the young girl end up with multiple children coming forward because of the nursery staff’s actions.
The movie asks difficult questions and keeps audiences wondering if Lucas will ever be vindicated. Troubling, powerful and brilliantly crafted, the film subtly weighs each moral stone that is cast when an innocent world starts to collapse.
The Hunt (14A, subtitled) is showing at the Landmark Cinema 7 on Nov. 7 at 4 and 7 p.m. Series tickets are $38 for gallery members and students (with identification) and $44 for non-members and can be purchased at the gallery or the Book Shop. Single tickets can be pre-purchased at the gallery for $13 with no exchanges or refunds, and limited single tickets for $15 may be available at the door.