Director Lars Von Trier Banned from Cannes for Nazi Comment

Entertainment May. 19, 2011 AT 10:24AM
Director Lars Von Trier Banned from Cannes for Nazi Comment Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Director Lars Von Trier will have to find film festivals other than Cannes to showcase his acclaimed, controversial movies.

After he shockingly claimed he was a Nazi in an interview, the Danish auteur has been banned, effective immediately, from the Cannes Film Festival.

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During a press conference for his celebrated new film Melancholia starring Kirsten Dunst, Von Trier, 55, explained that he grew up believing he was of Jewish descent, only to discover he was, in fact, German.

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"I found out that I was really a Nazi, because my family is German. And that also gave me some pleasure," he said. "So, I, what can I say? I understand Hitler," he said. "I think he did some wrong things but I can see him sitting in his bunker. I'm saying that I think I understand the man. He is not what we could call a good guy, but yeah, I understand much about him and I sympathize with him....Okay, I am a Nazi."

Shortly after that shocking press conference, the glittery film festival's organizers said in a statement via Deadline: "The Festival's Board of Directors...profoundly regrets that this forum has been used by Lars Von Trier to express comments that are unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the Festival.

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The Board of Directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars Von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately."

Von Trier later said he was "sorry if I hurt someone" with his remarks.

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