Director:Thomas VinterbergWritter:Tobias Lindholm, Thomas VinterbergProduced by:Morten Kaufmann, Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Thomas VinterbergRunning time:115 minutesCountry:DenmarkLanguage:DanishGenre:Drama Subtitle:English
Starring:Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas, Alexandra Rapaport as Nadja, Lucas'' love interest, Thomas Bo Larsen as Theo, Lucas'' friend,
Susse Wold as Grethe, Lars Ranthe as Bruun, Lucas'' friend, Anne Louise Hassing as Agnes, Theo''s wife,
Annika Wedderkopp as Klara, Theo''s daughter, Ole Dupont as Godsejer / Advokat
The Hunt (Danish: Jagten) is a 2012 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen. The story is set in a small Danish village around Christmas, and follows a man who becomes the target of mass hysteria after being wrongly accused of sexually assaulting a child.The film was screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and competed at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award for his role. It also won the 2013 Nordic Council Film Prize. The film has been selected as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. In the same category it was selected to the short list in the Golden Globe Award 2013.
Lucas is a member of a small, close-knit, Danish community and he works at a local kindergarten. A divorcé, Lucas struggles to maintain a relationship with his son due to his antagonistic wife, but enjoys wholesome interaction with the school children. Additionally, there seems to be a silver lining when his co-worker, Nadja, makes advances towards him and eventually moves in as his girlfriend.
This is soon ruined when nursery pupil Klara, who is also the daughter of Lucas'' best friend, Theo, wrongly accuses Lucas of showing his genitals to her; after Lucas returns a gift given to him by Klara, she gives unclear testimony against Lucas to nursery staff, apparently interpolating a separate incident in which she was shown a picture of an erect penis by her older brother in jest. She is asked leading questions by the nursery personnel during a subsequent investigation, who ascertain from her testimony that Lucas acted in a sexually inappropriate manner around her. All the adults in the community readily believe her story, and dismiss any of her contrary comments as denial.
As a result, Lucas is shunned by the majority of the community as a sexual predator. The pressure causes him to break up with Nadja, and even his son is publicly ostracised. The end of his friendship with Theo is particularly painful, with Theo''s attempts to sympathize with Lucas thwarted by his overprotective wife. However, despite the nursery staff''s actions, whose leading questions mean multiple children "admit" to being abused, Lucas soon builds a strong defence; all the children state they were abused in Lucas'' basement, providing vivid descriptions of it despite his house lacking one. Despite this, Lucas'' ostracism turns to violence; his dog, Fanny, is soon killed, and Lucas is beaten by grocery store employees for trying to buy food.
Lucas confronts Theo during a public mass on Christmas Eve, causing Theo to further sympathize with him. Later overhearing Klara, who apologizes to Lucas for what has happened while drifting off to sleep, Theo realizes his childhood friend is innocent. Despite remaining largely distanced, Theo visits Lucas on Christmas Day with food and alcohol as a peace offering.
A year after the incident, tensions in the community have lessened. Lucas and Nadja are in a relationship again, and his son is accepted into the local hunting society as an adult member. On a hunting expedition to commemorate the event, Lucas parts from the main group, only to be scarcely missed when an unseen individual shoots at him. Blinded by the setting sun, Lucas is unable to see his attacker, who reloads but flees. Upset by the event, Lucas visibly reflects that he will never be fully vindicated.