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The Hunt
The Hunt“The words of a child, confused by
  something her older brother has
  said and encouraged to tell a lie by
  alarmed adults, causes terrible and
  tragic repercussions for her father
  best friend in the stylish Danish
  psychological drama The Hunt

GRADUALLY REBUILDING HIS LIFE after an acrimonious divorce and losing his job as a teacher, it looks as though 40-year-old Lucas (the highly-acclaimed Mads Mikkelsen: Casino Royale; Clash Of The Titans) is finally back on track.

He now has a new job at the nursery his best friend's daughter attends, he is re-establishing his relationship with his teenaged son, Marcus (Lasse Fogelstrøm), and he is becoming closer to his Eastern European colleague Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport: The Crown Jewels).

Lucas lives alone with his beloved dog Fanny (Hunden Rosa) in a small Danish village, gets on well with the children at the nursery and has a group of close friends with whom he meets regularly to socialise or to go hunting.

“The Hunt is emotive,
sensitively delivered
and compulsive viewing
as one man,
accused of a terrible
crime, seeks to prove
his innocence
His best friend Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen: The Ambulance) and his wife Agnes (Anne Louise Hassing) have two children, the teenaged Torsten (Sebastian Bull Sarning) and Klara (young talent Annika Wedderkopp), who goes to the nursery where Lucas works.

Although she has always been close to Lucas, a careless and sexually explicit remark by her brother and his friend and an apparent rejection from Lucas when she offers him a gift leads to five-year-old Klara repeating the words to the nursery administrator, Grethe (Susse Wold).

Grethe calls in a child psychologist, who asks her unnecessarily-leading questions (I don't know if it is different in Denmark, but if my child was questioned like this and without parents there I would be beyond furious), and then the Police.

With his world falling apart, Lucas is suspended from the nursery pending an investigation to find out if any child abuse took place. Grethe has no option but to inform Theo and Agnes and the other parents and the lie spreads like wildfire throughout the village. Lucas finds himself shunned and subjected to a brutal hate campaign by those who have already appointed themselves judge and jury and condemned him as guilty.

Only Marcus and his godfather Bruun (Lars Ranthe: A Funny Man) believe in Lucas. The local shopkeepers refuse to serve him and he is subjected to a barrage of terrible and violent assaults, culminating in a tragic loss from which it seems he may never recover.

Battered, bruised and bloodied, a devastated and innocent Lucas is still determined to be part of the community but is almost at breaking point. If even those closest to you believe you are guilty of such a dreadful crime, who will help Lucas? And if you believe in what is right, how can you reconcile this grave injustice happening to such a caring, mild-mannered man? Will Lucas be able prove his innocence irrefutably and, even then, will he be able to forgive and forget?

Gripping and devastatingly dramatic, The Hunt has been described as "one of the most searingly intelligent feature releases in recent years, asking uncomfortable questions that demand answers: of the cast, the talent behind the camera and ultimately of its audience".

This tight psychological drama explores the extent of the fear and revulsion felt by a community that turns against one of its own without even considering for one moment that the person may not be guilty. The Hunt is emotive, sensitively delivered and compulsive viewing as one man, accused of a terrible crime, seeks to prove his innocence. You will be incensed by his unjust treatment.

The film picked up the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Thomas Vinterberg) and the Vulcain Prize for the Technical Artist (to Director of Photography, Charlotte Bruus Christensen). Furthermore, The Hunt has been nominated for a BAFTA Award (Best Film Not In The English Language), as well as winning the British Independent Film Award for Best International Independent Film, with Mikkelsen deservedly also receiving, for his career-defining, poignant performance as Lucas, a Best Actor nod from the 33rd Critics' Circle Awards.

With compelling performances from the talented cast, especially Alexandra Rapaport, Thomas Bo Larsen and Lars Ranthe, The Hunt also features Bjarne Henriksen as Ole.

Original Music is by Nikolaj Egelund; Cinematography is by Charlotte Bruus Christensen; Written by Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm; Producers are: Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Morten Kaufmann; and Directed by Thomas Vinterberg who was responsible for the brilliant Festen and who co-founded the Dogme 95 movement establishing rules for simplifying movie production.

The Hunt
was first screened at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival before going on to Cannes where it arrived to a fanfare of critical acclaim.

* One of last year's most powerful, relevant and thought-provoking films, The Hunt comes to Blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of Arrow Films, on 25 March 2013. Running Time: 115 Minutes | RRP: Blu-ray £19.99; DVD £17.99.

"The Hunt is emotive, sensitively delivered and compulsive viewing as one man, accused of a terrible crime, seeks to prove his innocence" Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"One of the year's best films" The Daily Telegraph

"A grippingly told human drama" The Daily Express

"A drama-thriller with the atmospheric grip of a horror film" The Guardian