The Hunt | Chicago Reader

The Hunt

115 minutes 2013

A small-town kindergarten teacher (Mads Mikkelsen, who won the best actor prize at Cannes for his performance) becomes a pariah when a little girl falsely accuses him of sexual abuse. Thomas Vinterberg's somber Danish drama recalls Ibsen's An Enemy of the People in its portrait of an innocent man besieged by a vigilant community, arriving at similar conclusions about the tyranny of the majority. It also works as a companion piece to Vinterberg's The Celebration (1998), which concerned a stubborn individual accusing his father of sexual abuse before a community that refuses to believe him. Where the earlier film had an undercurrent of caustic black comedy, this is almost oppressive in its seriousness. Still, Vinterberg orchestrates the material impressively, increasing tension little by little until it becomes overwhelming. In English and subtitled Danish.

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