The Hunt



Rumor, doubt and innuendo, are front and center in this brilliant and painful Danish film about a loving, gentle and caring kindergarten teacher Lucas (Mads Milkkeson), wrongly accused of sexually abusing a student. The need to vilify when we cannot understand human nature, and the thought that a child would ever lie about such a serious thing and destroy another person's life completely, says so many things about what a terrible and flawed group we are. How could such an innocent little girl do this? It must be true. As your fury grows watching this film, think about how you have done the same thing in maybe a smaller way, when you only know a tiny bit of facts, judge something on face value, then move on. It happens all the time.

Most people would agree that a child molester is truly the lowest form of human aberrations that one would act upon; to prey upon a child. As a parent, I cannot think of a worse act. I would want to pummel someone who would hurt my child, as would all of us. But what if the accused is innocent....and once the seed of poison has been planted, you can never truly make it go away?  How cruel is that?

The main character in (The Hunt) isn’t unlike, and I am sorry for the comparison, Jesus and his persecution by others; quick to judge, and hang a person on the flimsiest of evidence. There is a scene at the end around Christmas, that I think proves my theory might have weight. Yes, there is circumstantial evidence to maybe point to the fact that Lucas may have indeed have acted improperly, but it is very shady to say the least.

Lucas is a quiet man, who is divorced, living alone with his dog  and hoping that soon his young teenage son will soon come live with him. There is a teacher who is sweet on him and life seems to be looking better...finally. We see one of his students: Klara (Annika Wedderkopp) is fond of Lucas, and she is the daughter of Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen), who is Lucas’s best friend. When she kisses him on his lips at school, he tells her that this is inappropriate for her to do so. Lucas knows there is turmoil at home with Leo and his wife,and he does the best to be caring and gentle with her. Klara’s brother and his friend show her a dirty picture, and she makes up a story. Lucas is dismissed after the accusation, and all hell breaks loose.

There are scenes of manly men: Lucas and Theo are two of them, who go to the woods, drink heavily and then go deer hunting. This a ritual that generations have done, and it is crucial part to the story that is told here; Men are men. The Danish scenery is really quite stunning and adds a great mood to this film about one mans cruel and sad banishment into exile, until he has the courage, with the help of some loyal family members and his loving son, to fight back.

A scene  in the backyard of his home, where in the rain, Lucas has to dig a hole, will have you truly rooting for this innocent man to finally say….enough….and he does. It is a lot easier to point and judge prematurely, than to look with a clearer eye and seek the truth. You should see this Movie!

Watch the trailer:

This film has been nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 2014 Academy Awards and can be seen on Netflix.