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The Hunt 2013 ***

Thomas Vinterberg got back on form after some notable misfires (It’s All About Love, Dear Wendy) with this chilly account of a school-teacher in a small community who faces accusations of paedophilia. Played by the always excellent Mads Mikkelsen, Lucas is a well-respected member of his community, but the accusations of a little girl called Klara make him an outcast. Vinterberg makes skilful use of superior position to make Lucas’s story an emotive one; by giving the audience a clear indication of where Klara’s story comes from, he puts the community on trial, and shows how well-meaning intervention and gossip can ruin reputations. The cool handling of explosive material is unmistakably Danish, and The Hunt deserves its reputation as a powerful, uncompromising slice of small-town drama.


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