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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Die Jagd (Jagden, The Hunt)

Denmark/Sweden 2012
Starts March 28

Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg
Writing credits: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Alexandra Rapaport, Thomas Bo Larsen, Anne Louise Hassing, Lars Ranthe, Susse Wold, Ole Dupont
Length: 111 minutes

Die Jagd (Jagden, The Hunt)All seems to fall nicely into place after Lucas’ (Mikkelsen) strenuous divorce. He found a new job in his village as a kindergarten teacher, lives comfortably with his dog Fanny and spends nights drinking with his old friends. The children adore their good-humoured and patient teacher. The cute four-year-old Klara (Wedderkopp), daughter of his best friend, enjoys walking with him hand in hand to the kindergarten. Even romance is at the horizon when pretty Nadja (Rapaport) takes a fancy to him. He is looking forward to spending time with his teenage son Marcus (Fogelstrom) coming to live with him.  

Suddenly, things seem to go awry. An absentminded casual remark hangs in the air. Why did Klara say, she doesn’t like Lucas? The headmistress is alarmed, talks to a psychologist, they both talk to a sulking Klara. As a result Lucas is charged with child abuse and sexual exposure. Could Klara have lied? No, children don’t lie! Lucas doesn’t know what has happened and is laughing it off. His casual attitude doesn’t help him and soon he is treated like a leper, or worst, like a criminal. Child abuse is one of the most severe crimes and the village community is alarmed and soon the mistrust gets out of hand. The parents fear for their children, his friends turn against him. When he realises the seriousness of the accusations he fights helplessly for his dignity but is up against a hysterical mob. The only one fully believing his innocence is his son Marcus who has arrived in the middle of this inexplicable drama.  

Once more director Thomas Vinterberg (Das Fest / Festen, 1998) skilfully deals with a delicate subject. Step by step he builds up the tension leading to unforeseen dimensions caused by an unsuspicious lie. Any lie can not only ruin relationships but if getting out of control it can ruin a life. A strong cast, and especially Mad Mikkelsen and the gorgeous little Anika Wedderkopp, carry the film. The theme of child molesting and the reactions of the protagonists to the “crime”, the underlying brutality and blind accusations, will give plenty of food for discussions and reflections. Could this also happen in our community? ()

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