Release Date: July 26, 2013
Running Time: 115 minutes
Beware the inherent dangers of a pack mentality. In Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, a kindergarten teacher’s life unravels when he is wrongly accused of sexually molesting one of his students. Staff and parents alike immediately condemn Mads Mikkelsen’s divorced father as guilty of a crime he did not commit, even though there isn’t a shred of evidence against him. Mikkelsen quickly becomes a social pariah in the tiny Danish village he lives in, with some members of the community choosing to dispense their own brand of justice against him. Mikkelsen offers a haunting portrait of a good man who slowly succumbs to the pressure of being shunned by his friends and colleagues. The Hunt frightening recalls the false cases of child sexual abuse in the 1980s and 1990s in the United States, in particular the notorious McMartin preschool trial that lasted seven years and ended without any convictions. Vinterberg makes it clear from the beginning that any accusations of child abuse made by an alleged victim of such a terrible crime must be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. From there, Vinterberg examines with a keen eye the growing hysteria that results in a presumption of guilt and an inability to properly investigate the accusations. It chilling to watch how quickly it takes for everyone to demonize a man who is denied both due process and a fair chance to defend himself. It’s inevitable that an adult would have a strong response to a child revealing he or she was sexually abused. With The Hunt, Vinterberg cautions against being caught up in an emotionally devastating situation in order to separate fact from fiction and to prevent a rush to judgment.
Aired: July 25, 2013
Web site: http://www.magpictures.com/thehunt/