AKA: The Hunt
Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen (Lucas), Annika Wedderkopp (Klara), Thomas Bo Larsen (Theo), Lasse Fogelstrøm (Marcus), Alexandra Rapaport (Nadja), Anne Louise Hassing (Agnes), Susse Wold (Grethe)
Country: Denmark; Effed Up European Cinema
Language: Danish (Eng Subs); Effed Up Scandinavian Movies
Plot – Spoilers:
In a small Danish town, a little girl Klara often walks home with her father’s best friend, Lucas, who also works at her kindergarten. Lucas is particularly considerate to Klara’s OCD of not stepping on lines, and so walking with him and his dog, whom she loves, is something she looks forward to.
One day, Klara sees a porno image and is confused and upset by it. Soon after, she hears her parents bickering over who should take her to school. When Lucas offers to take her instead, she makes a gift for him out of gratitude and kisses him on the mouth. Awkward about what just happened, Lucas refuses her gift. Klara in turn feels rejected by all the adults closest to her and makes passing remarks to a teacher about how much she hates Lucas. She mixes this with the porno image she’d earlier seen and from here, Lucas’ fate is sealed, as all assume that he abused Klara and they even unwittingly plant false memories in her through leading questions.
Lucas was always doomed to be a kind of sitting target. A divorced man who works a job normally reserved for women. Someone who lives all alone and whom the community sort of pities and assumes is depressed. The harmless local loser who can be useful, helping with odd errands and jobs. Until he’s seen as a potential threat to their children.
Jagten uses the topic of pedophilia to make a bigger point about guilty until proven innocent. And in choosing pedophilia as the base, it is able to go deeper, because suspicion and paranoia are part of everything-goes when it comes to someone accused of molesting a child.