Lars von Trier Banned From Cannes
Cannes Film Festival has banned Lars von Trier after the Danish filmmaker made remarks sympathizing with Adolf Hitler.
On Wednesday, von Trier said during a press conference that he understood and sympathized with Hitler.
“What can I say? I understand Hitler, but I think he did some wrong things, yes, absolutely. But I can see him sitting in his bunker in the end,” von Trier said. “He’s not what you would call a good guy, but I understand much about him, and I sympathize with him a little bit. But come on, I’m not for the Second World War, and I’m not against Jews…I am very much for Jews. No, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the ass.”He later apologized and said that the comment had been a joke. However, the board of directors banned him from all events because of the remarks, which had “stained the reputation for the festival,” said Cannes President Gilles Jacob.
“He’s upset by this matter,” Thierry Fremaux, the general director at Cannes said in regards to von Trier’s reaction. “He recognized that the festival had to take a firm position in regards to his comments.”
The board had also considered removing his film, Melancholia, from the festival, but it still remains in competitions for all Cannes awards, including the Palme d’Or.
“In the end, the position that was taken was to distinguish between the work and the person,” said Jacob.
He added that the jury, made up of Jude Law, Robert De Niro and Uma Thurman, should not be affected by the decision to remove von Trier as they “don’t have direct contact” with festival organizers.
Jewish groups have expressed their appreciation of the festival’s decision to remove von Trier.
“This is a welcome action which declares to the world that the suffering of victims is not a fit subject for mockery or casual self-promotion,” Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, said in a statement. “The organizers of the Cannes film festival have eloquently taken a determined moral stand against cavalier expressions of hate and insensitivity to those brutalized by the Nazis — Jew and non-Jew.”
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