Those paying attention will already know what we thought of this one, as it nestled in at number three in the Best Movies of 2012 list! This movie seems to be perfectly timed for immediately after the Jimmy Saville witch hunt, where various people were dragged through the streets after being accused of pedophilia with little or no proof (Lord McAlpine being the most obvious). In mentioning a witch hunt, it does remind me of the Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in many ways, with the sense of hysteria that engulfs the small town where this is set.
The story revolves around a nursery school teacher who is accused of exposing himself to a child. This develops into a full scale investigation, with all the children in the nursery being interviewed and many further accusations being made. It is clear throughout that there is no element of truth in what is being said, and that the main character Lucas has lost control of the situation which continues to snowball.
The focus of the story is that there is no real way to clear your name in such an investigation, and that once you are tainted by it, it will always be there. It’s a fascinating portrayal of hysteria in a small town, and the effects it can have on a man’s life, as he goes close to losing everything. The subject of child abuse is on Thomas Vinterberg has used before, with his 1998 film ‘Festen’ also using the topic. This is definitely a movie worth seeing, and will leave you discussing the rights and wrongs of the situation in this difficult debate.