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Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
by Joshua Handler

Thomas Vinterberg's THE HUNT was one of the best films of 2013 and was recently shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (it's a lock for a nomination and is a probable winner).  Actor Mads Mikkelsen (TV's HannibalA Royal Affair) won the Best Actor award at Cannes in 2012 for his portrayal of a recently divorced teacher, Lucas, whose life is shattered when one of his students falsely accuses him of sexual abuse.  The film recently came out on DVD through Magnolia Pictures.

Here is an excerpt from my original review:
"The film explores how people have this inherent belief that kids don’t lie about sexual abuse.  We automatically believe that the person accused of abuse is actually an abuser without even questioning the situation.  In The Hunt, Lucas is the model of respect and kindness...When the girl tells her teacher, Lucas’ boss, that he showed her his genitals, the teacher automatically spreads it around and handles the situation inappropriately without even questioning whether Lucas actually abused the girl.  With more and more cases of sexual abuse unfortunately occurring and being reported, it is very timely for this movie to be released.  While it is absolutely necessary to bring abusers to justice, it is equally necessary to examine the situation and not simply believe everything we’re told blindly, which is what The Hunt calls for."
This DVD release from Magnolia Pictures is pretty bare-bones.  There is an alternate ending (the original ending is much better, though it's very interesting to see how this movie could have ended), some extended/deleted scenes and outtakes (nothing too exciting), and a seven-minute making-of video featuring co-writer/director Thomas Vinterberg and actor Mads Mikkelsen that isn't very informative.

The reason to buy this DVD is not the supplemental material.  The reason to buy this DVD or a copy from iTunes is for the film itself.  The Hunt is an immensely powerful film and one that explores questions that no film I've seen has dared to ask.  This is a must-see film, though I'm not sure how much re-watch value it has.  That being said, the film is multi-layered and stunningly shot which may call for a re-watch.

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