65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Guilt of Innocence,
This review is from: The Hunt (Jagten) [DVD] (DVD)
In yet another subtle and well-acted Danish film, we see how Lucas, the only male assistant to provide a bit of rough and tumble in a nursery school, finds himself sacked, charged by the police and a pariah in his tight-knit community when a normally truthful child appears to confide to the head teacher that Lucas has sexually abused her. From the outset we are given clues as to other events in the child's life which might be affecting her actions, but which cannot be known to those investigating the issue. Through a series of all too believably blundering attempts to "do the right thing", Lucas is condemned from the outset, wild rumours multiply as people are carried away by "groupthink" to turn against him.
The film skilfully points the finger at others who might be letting Lucas carry the blame for their own misdeeds, and even arouses our own occasional doubts as to his innocence. However, for the most past we feel outrage on his behalf, and a helpless sense of his compounded fate. All the main characters display some depth and changes in their emotions - in the case of Lucas, his natural gentleness and passivity giving way to bursts of retaliation.
The drama is set against a background of the deer hunts which bind the men together in a macho culture which may of course brutally cast out someone who seems to have broken a taboo, and the availability of guns adds a continual underlying threat of violence or tragedy. The film has the entertaining knack of following what seems like a happy event with a sudden twist back into suffering for the unfortunate Lucas.
Although the prejudice and hysteria in the community may seem a little exaggerated, the ending does not baldly "spell everything out" but leaves areas of ambiguity to provide food for thought. What should you do in a delicate situation which you cannot ignore but in which no action can be taken without damaging either the potential victim or the possible perpetrator, perhaps irrevocably? How can adults communicate effectively with confused children who may wish both to please them and conceal things from them, and also lack the language to express their feelings? How often do we make judgements without knowing the full facts, or even realising that this is the case?
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Initial post: 19 Dec 2012 11:15:06 GMT
Excellent,intelligent review. Thank you.
Posted on 8 Jan 2013 20:10:17 GMT
I was thinking of writing my own review of this wonderful film, but since yours says exactly what I wanted to say, there's no need. Very good review, thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2013 12:25:38 GMT
Thanks for the positive feedback.
Posted on 8 Jan 2014 02:58:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Jan 2014 02:59:44 GMT
J. Potter says:
You have a real knack for encapsulating exactly the essence of a story's strengths and flaws. I have the Hunt but have not yet had the strength to watch it. Sometimes watching the truth in humanity can be depressing, but I will now.
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2014 11:10:18 GMT
Thanks for the positive feedback. One of the strengths of this film is that it manages to be realistic without being depressing. My main emotions while watching it were anger over some characters' reactions plus the nagging uncertainty as to whether the sympathetic main character was guilty or not i.e. appreciation that I wouldn't have dealt with the situation any better than the people who were annoying me so much!
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