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3 November 2012
In response to the review of the film The Hunt (Jagten) as published on guardian.co.uk on Sunday 20 May 2012, I would like to give my opinion. Danish film director Thomas Vinterberg moots a very topical subject with his fantastic new drama about the snowball effect of a false accusation. Because of a casual lip-deep utterance of a five-year-old girl, a kindergarten teacher named Lucas is accused of pedophilia. The unnerving film shows perfect how the life of this man completely collapses. He loses his job and his best friend, his girlfriend leaves him and he is beaten up: the whole close-knit community loathes him, although everything points to his innocence.
Lately, victims of pedophilia more and more often reveal themselves. For example, victims from healthcare or ecclesiastical institutions who were not believed or did not dare to discuss their abuse. Vinterberg discusses pedophilia in his 1998 film The Celebration (Festen). The film tells the story of a family gathering to celebrate their father’s 60th birthday. At the dinner, the eldest son publicly accuses his father of sexually abusing both him and his twin sister. You feel a lot of sympathy for the victims because they have kept their trauma hidden for years. In The Hunt the same theme emerges but now from the other side: somebody is wrongly accused. The consequences of that false accusation may be just as horrible.
The protagonist Lucas is played by Mads Mikkelsen, an excellent and all-round actor. Most people know him from his role as the ‘bad guy’ in Casino Royale. He probably chose this role to make some extra money. Although the actor’s versatility is fully appreciated in art house films (in which he usually plays like Flammen & Citronen, 2008 and Efter brylluppetearn, 2006) this kind of films pays much less.
I agree on the criticism of reviewer Peter Bradshaw. However, he wonders how...