Cinema CNC presents...
February 1: The Hunt Dir: Thomas Vinterberg
Denmark, 2012 Danish with subtitles 111 minutes
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp
One of the most controversial films of the past year, The Hunt is an intelligent and disturbing dissection of Danish society, as ferocious as director Thomas Vinterberg’s international breakthrough The Celebration. Mads Mikkelsen stars as Lucas, a divorced daycare worker who is hoping to win custody of his estranged teenage son. Well-liked and easygoing, Lucas is an integral part of this tight-knit community, having lived in the small suburban town all his life and formed lifelong friendships with Theo and Bruun, who regularly organizes the men’s hunting trips.
Beloved by the children under his care, Lucas also has a special bond with Klara, the young daughter of Theo and his wife Agnes. Frequently finding Klara wandering the neighbourhood alone— her only respite from the constant rows between her parents—Lucas takes to escorting her home. When Klara kisses him on the lips one day, a shocked Lucas rebuffs her, telling her that only mommies and daddies should kiss in that way. Hurt and angry, the child tells the incompetent head of the day- care that she has seen things she shouldn’t have, sparking a modern-day witch hunt that targets Lucas and grows progressively uglier. Rumours, innuendo and lies spread through the town like a virus, transforming the once mild-mannered Lucas into a tormented and embittered pariah virtually overnight.
As in The Celebration, Vinterberg mercilessly reveals the hypocrisy behind some of his country’s most cherished social ideals, particularly the close bonds of community, the sanctity of domesticity, and the innocence of childhood. Directed with consummate skill and driven by exceptional performances from a stellar cast, especially Mikkelsen, The Hunt is one of the most troubling and powerful cinematic experiences of the year.
“Beautifully performed and tough as nails, Vinterberg’s social drama could not be any more timely.” —David Hughes, Empire