The Hunt is Thought Provoking
The Hunt is a Danish film with English subtitles, although some English is spoken. A 42-year old teacher is popular among the kids in his kindergarten. His best friend's little daughter, also in the class, likes him a lot, likes his dog, she tends to look at him as a father figure. However, at some point, he is not nice to her and unknowingly offends her. At a family gathering, teenage boys are looking at porn and women giving blow jobs to guys. While the teens enjoy this, they are unaware that the little girl, sees this material and hears the boys talking about a hard-on penis and cum.
One day at school, the girl is very quiet and withdrawn and is noticed by the principal of the school. After a series of questions, the girl reveals falsely that her teacher exposed himself with a hard-on. At first, there is disbelief because the man is so popular, but the girl seems to be telling the truth. From this point, the story spins more and more out of control for the teacher in a small town. It occurs just has his own personal life is recovering from a divorce and custody issues, living alone, and finally having a new relationship.
The girl is questioned by experts and because of her stoic demeanor, she convinces authorities it happened. So, the school gather all the parents of the class to inform them. Some of the teacher's best friends are there, all in shock and disbelief. Few, oddly, doubt the girl's story- "children don't lie" one parent declares.
The teacher loses his job, his girlfriend, custody of his teenage son. His former best friends now are hateful enemies. He cannot shop in stores. Soon, other kids are interviewed and all say the same thing that the teacher exposed himself to them- all of it untrue. They all indicate he did this in the basement of his home. The sad thing is, there is no basement to his home. Yet despite even this, police finally arrest him.
At the low point of the film, everyone hates him except his son. Then, he is released and becomes a recluse. He is beat up by former close friends. Even after the girl tells her father it did not happen, he is in disbelief and thinks she is lying!
Finally, the truth does come out but there has been so much damage, it is hard to put the pieces back together, but, they do. However, during a hunt for some deer a year later, the teacher narrowly escapes a shot from someone who still harbors hatred.
The movie has received nothing by 3-4 stars. It is gripping and tragic about how a child can make false remarks that ruin a person, if not thoroughly investigated. A teacher's worst nightmare!