The Hunt

(Denmark, 2012, 115 mins, DCP)
CAST Mads Mikkelsen, Thomsa Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrom


The Audience Award winner at VIFF 2012, Thomas Vinterberg’s modern day witchhunt drama continues to exert a deep pull on audiences, and is now among the five nominees for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

A parent’s prime responsibility must be to protect his or her child. The same goes for a school and its pupils; a community and its children. So when first one, then another, and finally several infants all imply that kindergarten teacher Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a pedophile, he’s immediately ostracized, a pariah in the small town where he himself grew up and made a life. Only one thing, though: the charges are false, the result of a single, silly lie that spins far out of control and contaminates the perception of anyone it touches.

In his most successful film since The Celebration, Dogme co-founder Thomas Vinterberg remorselessly turns the screws on Lucas, showing how easily public opinion can embrace the blood lust of a lynch mob, and testing how even a fundamentally good man responds to such malignant stress. This probing psychological drama is as gripping and cathartic as any thriller, with a searing performance from Mikkelsen at its core.

"It is a devastating film to watch, a heedful one, and a tragic reminder that no matter how well a life has been conducted, the mere whiff of such scandalous behavior is condemnation enough." Betsy Sharkey, LA Times

"A powerful, provocative study of mob mentality and the fabric of trust." Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer