Jagten tells the story of Lucas, a recently divorced man, who works at the local Kindergarten. Lucas is happy with his life: he and his teenage son Marcus get along, he has found a new girlfriend and he enjoys his social life and his job.
Lucas’ best friend Theo has a seven year old daughter; Klara. Klara, who goes to the Kindergarten Lucas works at. As many young girls, Klara is in love with her teacher and loves being around him. Due to certain circumstances the schools headmaster Grethe starts to believe Lucas is sexually abusing Klara. She decides to go talk to Klara, which prompts the girl to tell her a fantasy story about Lucas. After this things get out of hand; because of Grethe’s actions the story spreads like wildfire and the villagers start a witchhunt. Lucas’ life is turned into a living hell and his friends desert him. Lucas’ family is being tormented and his girlfriend leaves him because she is no longer sure who or what to believe. At the police station everything goes wrong as well; instead of being objective the officers have made up their minds: Lucas is guilty. Because of this their questioning of Klara is completely tainted; they only ask her suggestive questions. In the end there is not enough evidence to convict Lucas and Klara admits she made it all up, but still the bullying and tormenting of Lucas (and now Marcus too)doesn’t stop. In the eyes of villagers Lucas is guilty, eventhough the ‘victim’ admitted her lie. If you are convinced of something; is it possible to forgive and forget?
Wow. That was the first word that came to mind when the movie ended. First; the acting is superb; especially Mads Mikkelsen (Lucas) and Annika Wedderkopp (Klara) are brilliantly cast and portrayed. This really is a movie that makes you think: you can see how a lie about a very sensitive subject can turn into a full witch hunt. People lose their humanity when they are convinced of something, and even when the person who started it all admits her wrongdoing people still look the other way. Peerpressure and ‘following the leader’ also play a big part when it comes to dehumanization. What really bothered me was the lack of professionalism by the various job-representatives in this movie. The police, the school, everyone did exactly what they shouldn’t have done because they are so prejudiced.
Jagten is a brilliant, but very depressing movie. I really advice you to check it out: it makes you think and wonder, but please, if you watch it, do something that makes you happy afterwards