Following a tough divorce, 40-year-old Lucas has a new girlfriend, a new job and is in the process of re-establishing his relationship with his teenage son, Marcus. But things go awry. Just a passing remark - a random lie. And as the snow falls and the Christmas lights are lit, the lie spreads like a virus. The shock and mistrust get out of hand, and the small community suddenly finds itself in a collective state of hysteria, while Lucas fights a lonely fight for his life his and dignity.
Nordic jury motivation: In Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, a man is wrongfully accused of child abuse. At first glance it is a straightforward tale that could have been told in ancient Greece as well as in Hollywood. But beneath the seemingly simple surface lie many complex themes, forcing the audience to discuss and analyse what they see. Through the allegory of 'the hunt', Vinterberg’s film explores how the individual can be persecuted even in a well-meaning and well-functioning society, when it suddenly turns on one of its own. This remarkable story is carried by Mads Mikkelsen’s powerful performance, the striking score and haunting and beautiful imagery.
The Nordic Jury: Per Juul Carlsen (Denmark), Outi Heiskanen (Finland), Kristin Johannesdóttir (Iceland), Silje Riise Næss (Norway) and Fredrik Sahlin (Sweden).
Jury motivation: In The Hunt Thomas Vinterberg is where he is best - and where few directors have the ability to be - in a story which manages to be a colourful melodrama and at the same time addresses difficult subjects that everyone can philosophise about: modern witch hunts, guilt and innocence, trust and forgiveness and loss of innocence in an overprotected world. You feel well entertained by the powerful manuscript and by Mads Mikkelsen's nuanced performance as the 'hunted', and you never stop discussing the film with yourself.
National jury: Per Juul Carlsen, Eva Novrup Redvall, Jakob Wendt Jensen