Hannibal Rising was released on February 9th of 2007, and was the fifth film in the series about the strange life of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. However, this movie is not a sequel to Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, or Hannibal, but rather a prequel. This film is a modified version of Thomas Harris’ novel in 2006 and shares the same name as the book, describing how the man Hannibal Lecter became a serial killer in the preceding books and movies. This movie was filmed in Prague with many European movie stars including Gaspard Ulliel, Dominic West, and Rhys Ifans. Dino De Laurentiis Company produced the film in Europe while they turned the producing over to The Weinstein Company and Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
(basic plot of the story below-spoilers)
The prequel starts off following a young boy of only eight years old by the name of Hannibal Lecter, in the midst of World War II. They are living Lecter castle in Lithuania, but have to escape from the oncoming German troops to their hunting cabin. A Soviet tank then stops in front of their hunting cabin in search of water and requires everyone to evacuate from the house immediately. A german pilot then spots the tank and fires at it, only to be shot down the Soviet tank. The pilot crashes into the tank, killing everyone but Hannibal and his little sister Mischa. A group of SS militiamen then come across the Lecter hunting lodge after being chased down by Soviet troops, exploring for food to eat. They find none and stare down Hannibal and Mischa in a disturbing manner.
The film then takes place eight years later inside the old Lecter castle, which has not been turned into an orphanage for abandoned Soviet children. There is one particular bully that harrasses Hannibal for not singing in the orphanage, and attempts to harm him, only to be evaded by Hannibal’s fork which he drives into the bully’s hand. He later escapes the orphanage in search of his aunt, the Lady Murasaki, and she teaches him the art of martial arts and ancestor devotion.
Lady Murasaki and Hannibal visit a supermarket one day only to hear a disturbing comment from a butcher, and Hannibal attacks him. Lecter later visits the butcher’s cabin where he is fishing and asks for an apology from him about what he said, only to be denied. Hannibal then decapitates his head with a sword and is almost tried for murder by Detective Popil, only to be interrupted by Lady Murasaki.
Hannibal is then admitted to a medical school in Paris and is working in a hospital as an intern. Lecter observes a man being injected with a drug to recall a certain memory as a war criminal. Lecter is intrigued by this and uses it to try to discover the victims behind his sister’s death. Hannibal then goes on a search for his sister’s remains only to run into Dortlich, a man that was with the group of German SS who killed his sister. After discovering dog tags he buries his sister’s remains, then incapacitates Dortlich and asks where the other men are that harmed his sister. He kills Dortlich and eats the cheeks of the man, which is supposedly the best tasting body part on a human.
Hannibal then visits a restaurant belonging to Kolnas’, another man belonging to the German SS who occupied their hunting lodge. Lecter notices a bracelet on his daughter’s hand that used to be Mischa’s, and gives Kolnas’ dogtag to her. A man who goes by Grutas, hires a man by the name of Zigmas to kill Hannibal. He goes out late at night to kill Hannibal while he is working in a laboratory, only to be detected and killed, just before Detective Popil arrives. Popil asks Lecter a few questions about the murder of Dortlich, only to not receive any convincing evidence that he killed him.
Hannibal continues hunt of the men by going after Grutas, who is in the shower when he arrives. He sets a bomb in his house and attacks him in the shower, only to be discovered by Grutas’ guards. As the guards are about to kill him his bomb goes off and he escapes from the house.
Grutas abducts Lady Murasaki, and places a phone call to Hannibal, using her as lure to get him. However, Lecter recognizes a familiar sound of birds he noticed earlier in Kolnas’ restaurant. He goes there and interrogates him to find out where they are keeping Lady Murasaki. Hannibal finds out that they are keeping her on a houseboat, where Lecter then goes to next. He finds Lady Murasaki, but as he is freeing her he is shot in the back by Grutas. The bullet did not go through but hit is wakizashi, which is a type of Japanese sword. Grutas, not knowing this, is attacked by Lecter and crippled in his achilles. Lecter then learns that he too, had eaten his sister when the soldiers provided him with food. Hannibal becomes raged by this and carves an M in his chest. Lady Murasaki leaves and tells him that he has no love for anyone anymore and leaves him on the houseboat. The house boat blows up and Hannibal is presumed to be dead, but at the end it shows him emerging from the woods, now focusing on his next target, Grentz.