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[Tribeca ’24] ‘Hunters on a White Field’ review: Manning up

Becoming alpha.

Hunters on a White Field is a barrage of toxic masculinity that constantly attacks audiences. Making its world premiere at Tribeca, the Swedish import is about three men who have gone on a hunting trip. Two are experienced hunters and they plan on turning the third into a “real man”. When they wake up one day to find all the animals are gone, the three play a self-destructive and dangerous game.

Hunters on a White Field starts off as a character study. Alex wants to impress his older, more boisterous friends. For their part, Gregger and Henrik are there to help their younger colleague. This does not stop them from dismissing his ability and making fun of his darker skin tone. But when Alex shows that he is at least as good as the others – and is in all likelihood even better – the dynamic begins to change. 

Alex is soon the alpha of the group while the obnoxious Gregger and Henrik amusingly become more philosophical and contemplative. The casual racism and misogyny that the trio used to bond is replaced with homoerotic undertones. Combined with a tension that begins early on and only increases over time, Hunters on a White Field is an engrossing watch. 

It is very much a case of less being more - or of more meaning less.

In an interesting twist, the three men rarely say anything of substance. When they are not talking up their own accomplishments, they are either being defensive or derisive of the others. But it is in these moments when the insecurity and machismo really come to the forefront and help define who the men are. It is very much a case of less being more – or of more meaning less.

The forest setting makes for a natural beautiful setting. It is a perfect contrast to the overpowering manliness that Alex, Gregger, and Henrik are trying so hard to exude. The second half of Hunters of a White Field takes a more satirical approach that plays into what the group are going through. The entire movie is built on its over the top characters, but at this point it takes a more surreal approach that feels out of place with the more grounded aspects. Its commentary on masculinity and the ridiculous lengths men will go through always comes through, however.

Tribeca Festival takes from June 5 – June 16. The full lineup can be found HERE.

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