A Christmas Story

The movie The Hunt is set in a Danish village.

Lucas works at a nursery school. One of his students is Klara, the daughter of his best friend Theo. Her parents do not have enough time for her, so she increasingly relies on Lucas, especially with regard to her phobia of stepping on lines. He frequently escorts her to school while holding her hand. Thus guided, she can check for sidewalk cracks to avoid them.

Klara is drawn more and more to Lucas until one day she suddenly kisses him on the mouth. He gently instructs her that such kissing is for her parents only. She feels hurt and invents a tale of Lucas sexually molesting her.

A prosecution is brought against Lucas, and the villagers persecute him even after the charges are dismissed for lack of evidence. He is subjected to ostracism and beatings but refuses to leave home.  When Lucas confronts Theo and the rest of the community at a Christmas service, they begin to realize that Lucas is truly innocent.

Some months later, Theo hosts a party at his house to celebrate Lucas's son receiving his first hunting rifle. By chance, Klara and Lucas simultaneously enter the kitchen at opposite ends, both with the intention of passing through.  They are taken aback by each other's presence, but then her eyes wander to the small floor tiles inches from her feet. She cannot proceed.  He offers to carry her across. She nods. He walks over and picks her up for the safe journey to his side where he puts her down.  She takes a few steps away from him before stopping.  Klara turns to Lucas and smiles and waves.

Scott Varland is an American lawyer residing in London, England.