Cannes 2011: Von Trier banned from fest

Director talks to TF about the controversy...

Lars Von Trier has been declared ‘persona non grata’ by the Cannes Film Festival following his claim to be a Nazi.

The controversy kicked off on Wednesday when, in a press conference for his new film Melancholia, the Danish director said that he “understood” and “sympathised” with Hitler.

Seemingly pulling the audience’s leg, the comments created enough furore for Von Trier to release a statement apologising for his behaviour.

“I am not anti-Semitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi,” he said. 

However, the festival’s board of directors then released its own statement, condemning the director’s press conference comments and declaring him persona non grata with immediate effect.

Talking to TF, Von Trier said: “I am sure that the Cannes Film Festival has made a decision that is very wise and I accept it completely.”

He added that while he remained “very positive” towards the festival, he is “a little proud of [being declared] persona non grata… my family would be very proud.”

Referring to the press conference, he added: “When I have a full audience I want to entertain them a little bit. “Everyone is waiting for it: ‘When is Lars going to say something provocative?’

“I couldn’t find something that was important to say so I just talked, and then I talked my way into a sentence… and you know, when you try to save [a thing like that], you make it even worse.”

He explained that what he meant by ‘sympathising’ with Hitler was “only that I could put myself in his situation and see him sitting in the bunker making decisions and stuff.

“It doesn’t mean that I would do what Hitler did.”

Support the Cannes ban? Or are you backing Lars? Comment below!

Comments

    • warinari

      May 19th 2011, 17:28

      He kinda brought this on himself.. what's strange is how completely unprovoked it was. Although I do like his honesty in this article; admitting that he was just looking for something shocking to say.

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    • elgar7

      May 19th 2011, 17:28

      *Slaps forehead*

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    • wonderland

      May 20th 2011, 9:14

      I think it was blow a bit out of proportion. I understand some may take offense but there is no need to ban him from the Festival.

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    • wonderland

      May 20th 2011, 9:14

      I think it was blow a bit out of proportion. I understand some may take offense but there is no need to ban him from the Festival.

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