Sound familiar? Happens all the time to those who are accused and/or convicted of sexual crimes, innocent or not.
Lucas is an average member of a small, close-knit, Danish community. Being a divorcee who is struggling to maintain a relationship with his son and having lost his former job as a secondary school teacher, he is facing some difficulties in his life, and resorts to working at a kindergarten to make ends meet. Yet he enjoys wholesome interaction with the children, and there seems to be a silver lining when an attractive female coworker makes advances towards him and eventually moves in as his girlfriend.
All this is ruined, however, when he is wrongly accused of showing his genitals to Klara, a little girl at the day care who he walks home from school and who is also the daughter of Theo, Lucas' closest friend. Klara was earlier shown a picture of an erect penis by her older brother in jest, and she makes unclear comments about the event that involve Lucas. She is asked leading questions by the nursery personnel during an investigation and unintentionally states that Lucas acted sexually inappropriately around her. All the adults in the community readily believe her story and urge her not to expand on it, lest she relive the supposedly tragic event.
As a result, Lucas is shunned by the majority of the community as a sexual predator. He loses his girlfriend, and his son is publicly ostracized. The end of his friendship with Theo is particularly painful, with Theo's attempts to sympathize with Lucas thwarted by his overprotective wife. Eventually, the ostracism turns to violence when Lucas' dog, Fanny, is killed and Lucas is beaten by the employees of his local grocery store for trying to buy food there. While drifting off to sleep, Klara apologizes to Lucas for her lie and what has transpired. Theo hears her and realizes his friend is innocent.
Lucas confronts Theo during a public mass on Christmas Eve, and the two gain some trust of each other as a result, but they remain largely distanced.
A year after the incident, tensions in the community have lessened. Lucas' girlfriend from the kindergarten is again with him, and his son is being accepted into the local hunting society as an adult member. Yet on a hunting expedition to commemorate the event, an anonymous individual shoots at Lucas and nearly hits him. Lucas looks, blinded by the setting sun, at his attacker, who cannot be seen in the rays, and then almost begins crying with this painful reminder that he will never be fully vindicated.