Scandinavian filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s latest film The Hunt takes a harrowing look at how an innocent man’s life can be torn apart by a single false accusation and how a community is all too ready to believe a person is guilty until proven innocent.
Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a forty-year old man who is trying to get his life back on track after a recent divorce and losing his job at the primary school where he has taught for years.
Things are starting to look up though; he gets a job working at a children’s nursery school, a female colleague begins to take an interest in him and his teenage son wants to come and live with him.
The village is a tight-knit community where he spends much of his free time deer-hunting and drinking merrily with friends in the local pub.
It’s clear that Lucas has a wonderful rapport with the kids under his care and even young Klara, the daughter of one of his friends has developed an innocent crush on him. However, when she attempts to overstep the boundary one day and Lucas gently rebuffs her, the hurt and confused child makes a claim to his supervisor that he behaved indecently towards her.
That one false accusation is all it takes for Lucas’s life to become a living nightmare as he finds himself the target of a hate mob and his reputation threatens to be destroyed.
Vinterberg’s film is an unsettling one, not just for the subject matter but also how a lie told in the heat of the moment can have serious repercussions for the person on the receiving end.
In the main role, Mikkelson delivers a moving and sympathetic performance as the wronged man who finds a whole community turning against him.
As well as being a tense psychological drama, The Hunt is a powerful social commentary on our instinctive need to believe in the innocence of children even when we cannot always be certain about what we hear.
It also soberly reminds us that sometimes once the damage is done, nothing we do can truly fix it.
The Hunt will be screened at The Source Arts Centre in Thurles on Wednesday, March 20th at 8pm. Tickets are priced at E9 (concession E7 and E5 for Film Club Members).
For further information please contact the box office on 0504 90204 or alternatively visit www.thesourceartscentre.ie.
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