Monday, February 24, 2014

THE HUNT - 1 nomination


Foreign Language Film - Denmark

If you read my review of the Broken Circle Breakdown, you already know why the foreign films tend to be an outstanding group, having been submitted by their respective countries as the best ones to be produced from the entire crop of movies to appear in theaters that year.  Denmark has a very strong entertainment industry, and has had many nominees make the top 5 list for the Oscars.

This year's "The Hunt" is no exception.  The movie tells the story of Lucas, wrongly accused of child sexual abuse because of one little girl's lie.  (We know throughout the film that he is innocent, not a spoiler.)  Though the little girl immediately admits the lie to her parents, everyone has already been told that children never lie and also that out of shame, once they have revealed abuse they have a tendency to recant.  So when she admits what she did, everyone is already convinced that this is just the regular pattern that children who have been abused follow, and don't believe the truth.  Soon after, other children in the kindergarten also claim abuse, after having been coached by their appropriately concerned parents.

It is a small town in Denmark, so naturally the entire town turns against Lucas.  They vilify him, beat him, and interfere with his attempts to get custody of his son, who is living in another town with his estranged ex-wife.

The tension in the film comes from two places - how can one prove that one hasn't done something, and how can we blame the town for following the diagnosis of the experts, who are convinced that the children have been abused?  There was a knot in my stomach for most of the movie.  Wanting to see justice, watching the needless breakdown of lifelong relationships among Lucas and his childhood friends, understanding the parents' desire to protect their children and their fury in learning that they couldn't - all of these elements made for an outstanding film. 

Haven't seen the film?
Watch The Hunt Movie Trailer

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