23.5 C
Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

The Hunt

Latest News

Not quite ‘too late’

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia Sir David Attenborough, the world’s most famous naturalist, has just addressed the United Nations Security Council to...

Other News

Missing teen located safe and well near Tweed Heads

A teen missing in the state’s North has been located safe and well.

Police looking for missing Pottsville woman

Police say they are seeking public assistance to locate a woman missing from Pottsville for almost a week.

Bangalow blackspot puts school children at risk

Will action ever be taken to protect school kids getting on and off the bus on Lismore Road, Bangalow as trucks fly by at 80km/h?

Magic mushrooms

David Gilet, Byron Bay As noted in David Heilpern’s article (24 February), with drugs, whether medicinal or recreational, dosage is a...

Suffolk Park pump track

Jinesh Attard, Suffolk Park Many in the local community of hillside Suffolk Park have come to understand the impact the pump...

Byron Wildlife Hospital’s DA up for public comment

A development application for the mobile Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is now before the public.

Soon after meeting Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a popular, divorced teacher at a small-town Danish kindergarten, we are in an autumn forest with him. He sees a deer, he shoots it, and its lifeless eyes fill the screen as it hits the ground. It’s a pertinent metaphor, but I took an immediate dislike to him and, despite the plight that he would find himself in, I was unable to garner any empathy with the bloke. It is a mindset thing, I guess. And that is what director Thomas Vinterberg is coming to grips with – mindsets and their intractability.

An innocent occurrence on just another day at work results in disastrous consequences when little Klara (Annita Wedderkop) untruthfully tells the headmistress that Lucas has exposed himself to her. The scene is chilling, with Klara’s face dimly lit and the child displaying an uncanny mixture of the angelic and the malevolent. I didn’t like the kid at any point; in fact my blood ran cold every time she appeared (she reminded me of the dolls that were such a staple of old B&W haunted-house movies) and I wondered if that was the intention.

What Vinterberg highlights most brutally, though, is our seemingly bottomless capacity for believing the worst of others. Lucas’s fellow teachers do not think for a minute that their erstwhile friend might not be guilty of the offence with which he has been charged. Quite the opposite – their sanctimonious group-think leads them to encourage the rest of the children to ‘remember’ similar things happening to them. Lucas, suddenly a despised outcast, must come to terms with the Crucible-like mentality that surrounds him while sheltering his teenage son from the horrors of his persecution.

Outside, a bitterly cold northern winter descends, and the good burghers celebrate Yuletide with public bonhomie, but vindictiveness is in their hearts. Gripping, emotionally exhausting and uncomfortably honest in its depiction of how thin is our veneer of civility, it’s a terrific film with a brilliant performance from Mikkelsen – but Klara really spooked me.

John Campbell


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Suspicion and belief

Fast Buck$, Coorabell My suspicion is that the mayor and the senior staff have been helping Michael Lyon become electable as mayor by scripting his...


I Menahemi, Myocum In his editorial Hans Lovejoy says – ‘the optics from The Echo have been and hopefully always will be independent.’ As long as more...

Suffolk Park pump track

Jinesh Attard, Suffolk Park Many in the local community of hillside Suffolk Park have come to understand the impact the pump track will have on our...

New Greens team

Matthew O’Reilly President of CABS and a proud member of the NEW Byron Greens team It seems that some readers have taken my comments on the...