Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
Running time: 115 minutes
The Hunt (2012), is directed by Thomas Vinterberg of Festen fame (1998), who was part of the Dogme 95 faction along with Lars Von Trier, a group of directors who vowed to eschew special effects and the commercialised aspects of cinema for a new and direct realism. Following Festen, Vinterberg's career maintained an internationally low profile until the success of The Hunt (2012) which is arguably his best film to date: a compelling tale of suspected child abuse, and its revelation in a small town in Denmark. Lucas (brilliantly played by Mads Mikkelesen) works part time in a local kindergarten after losing his regular job teaching at a school. Recently divorced, his life has hit a low point and he struggles to maintain a close relationship with his teenage son. Soon afterwards, however, he starts to befriend nursery co-worker Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport) and begins a relationship with her. Lucas's best friend from childhood, Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen) has a daughter at the nursery, the somewhat lonely and alienated Klara, who starts to rely on Lucas for his care and attention. One day, after Lucas refuses a gift she tries to give him, Klara retaliates by deciding, imaginatively, to tell the nursery administrator that Lucas has exposed himself to her. Although the film makes Lucas' innocence clear, he quickly becomes the centre of a controversy, the victim of a modern day witch hunt; an ironic situation not lost on the audience given that Lucas particularly loves hunting himself. With its echoes of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, or Lars Von Trier's Dogville, The Hunt is a raw tale about the power of suggestion and how even close-knit communities can quickly unravel. Well received on its release, the film won Mads Mikkelsen Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for his role as Lucas
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