Movie reviews are not my thing. I have never written one until now. Indeed, the last time I even saw a movie that would have inspired a review from me for its relevance to men’s rights was Sam Mendes’ 1999 masterpiece American Beauty; the story of an average American man, Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey), who goes full bore MGHOW after dealing with a bitch of a wife and watching an 18 year old young man tell his boss to fuck off. Of course, the story is not just that simple, but the movie conveyed all the subtlety and nuance required to carry the MGTOW message with power and sensitivity.
In one way it’s a shame I never wrote a review. It was before I was blogging. In another way it is just as well. Unfortunately Mendes, erstwhile sperm donor for sociopath broodmare Kate Winslet, is now on record supporting her life as an overdressed welfare whore.
I was fortunate, however, to have just watched a 2012 production of the Danish film, The Hunt (Jagten), and cannot resist sharing it with readers with glowing recommendation.
The film, directed by Thomas Vinterberg, stars Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas, a divorced father who is falsely accused of sexually abusing children at the kindergarten where he works as a teacher. The story begins with Lucas contending with an alienating ex-wife who is using the family court system to undermine his relationship with his teen-age son. He takes refuge from his ongoing grief with healthy, loving relationships with the school’s children. From this point on you become aware that the makers of this film are going to take off the gloves and tell this story with gritty, often gut-wrenching realism.
It is pointless for me to issue spoiler alerts here. This is a brutal story with no surprises, at least not for those who have ingested a red pill. Lucas is accused by a vindictive child, Klara (Annika Wedderkopp), after he gently rejects her crush on him. She parrots a statement she heard from her brother about an erect penis, points the finger at Lucas, claiming he exposed himself to her, and everyone goes fucking crazy. It immediately sends his life into a tailspin and turns his community into something at least as monstrous as child predators.
The town mob gets a lot of inspiration from the school headmistress, Grethe (Sussie Wold), who conducts a shallow and meaningless interview of an instigating child, and immediately goes nuclear. She fires Lucas and informs the authorities, She also tells all parents of the school children about the danger that he has more than one victim, advising them all to be on the lookout for symptoms of sexual abuse, like headaches and bedwetting. Grethe repeatedly reminds fellow characters and viewers alike that “children don’t lie” about these things, even as the makers of this movie remind us that they most certainly do.
Lucas is arrested, and is later cleared of charges, but not before the community turns vicious. His dog is killed, he is beaten by employees of a grocery store for trying to buy food there and his ex-wife seizes on the charges against him to try to drive a permanent wedge between him and his son.
There is very little in this film on the legal process over the allegation. For those interested there is an adequate treatment of the prosecutorial malfeasance often involved in these cases in the 1995 American TV Movie, Indictment: The McMartin Trial. It is the true story of the notorious McMartin Preschool case in California, the hysteria from which resulted in the longest, most expensive (and completely unnecessary) criminal trial in American history.
What The Hunt (as in Witch), lacked in addressing the criminal justice system, it more than made up for with its deft treatment of the interpersonal tragedy and society’s instantaneously vengeful mentality in the wake of sexual allegations against men.
A brilliant screenplay (Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg) helped Mikkelsen deliver a flawless performance as a man first bewildered and then sinking into the morbid insanity of his circumstances; ultimately fighting back as the world around him turns increasingly hostile and dangerous.
The narrative is utterly convincing and realistic, from Klara’s mother, Agnes (Anne Louise Hassing), disregarding and suppressing her daughter’s admission that she made the story up, to the portrayal of men in the story, who were the constant deliverers of proxy violence against Lucas, but who were also, in much smaller numbers (including his son), the only ones who stayed loyal to him as he worked to defend his name. Central to the story is Klara’s father, Theo, whose slow, compelling realization that Lucas is innocent is skillfully played by Thomas Bo Larsen.
The staff of the kindergarten (where Lucas was the only male employee) was the most histrionic and reckless in stoking the fires of revenge in the community, telling themselves, each other and anyone else who would listen that every child at the school with a headache is probably one of Lucas’ victims.
This is where the movie shines. It is a remarkable portrayal to two very human maladies at once. The first is the story’s real victim, Lucas, who very nearly succumbs as the accusation rips a chasm in his life. And, even as the lie takes its toll on him personally, it also spreads like a cancer through the entire community, obliterating its collective capacity for reason; fostering incredible heartlessness and evil in otherwise decent people, and worsening the evil already in residence in others.
It is the human instinct to protect children, especially females, and how mindlessly destructive that instinct can be, that is the real story here.
And, sadly, we are reminded by the movie’s makers that the truth, no matter how simple or obvious, will not remedy the consequences of this particular brand of lie. In this movie, just as it is in real life, Lucas will never be free of the anchor chain that any female can wrap around a man’s neck. There will never be a day when his nightmare really ends. He will always be a marked man.
On an even more somber note, this story is a reminder of the treacherous path we are now on, thanks to the toxic alliance of feminism and traditionalism. Due process of law is one of man’s most noble inventions. It is the guardian that stands watch between human beings and their tendency to destroy each other – and themselves. Feminists seek to destroy that sacred failsafe against human fallibility, and traditionalists take marching orders to destroy accused men as though they were issued directly from the mouth of God.
I have never seen that more clearly portrayed than in The Hunt. This is a must-see movie.
Editor’s note: This article is also available in Romanian.