Lars von Trier banned from Cannes

Director's Nazi comments spark outrage

by Jennie Kermode

Lars von Trier, director of acclaimed indie hits like Dogville and Antichrist, has been banned from the Cannes Film Festival after claiming yesterday to be a Nazi who feels sympathy for Hitler.

The controversial remarks shocked cast members from his latest film Melancholia, who included Charlotte Rampling and Udo Kier. Kirsten Dunst had earlier tried to intervene and persuade him to temper his words, following which the press conference was abruptly terminated by an aide. Von Trier, who is known for his dark sense of humour, later said he had been joking.

Von Trier, who believed himself to be Jewish when he was growing up but later discovered this was not genetically the case, stressed that he is not against Jews and does not support the Second World War or think Hitler was 'a nice guy'.

It is difficult to create this level of clamour at Cannes and some have suggested that the whole thing may have been a publicity stunt, but it is also possible that it may be related to the director's history of manic depressive episodes and self destructive behaviour. Von Trier has now said that he doesn't deserve to win a Palme d'Or anyway and he would rather stay at home in Denmark making pornography because in that business it isn't necessary to deal with the same level of attention from the media.

Share this with others on...

The turning point Wendy Makkena on Tom Hanks, Chris Cooper and Matthew Rhys in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Decisive moments Evelyn Schels on Marina Abramovic, Sigalit Landau, Shirin Neshat and Katharina Sieverding in Body Of Truth

Sense memories Robert Tinnell on Feast Of The Seven Fishes and family memories

Keeping his word Michael Apted in conversation on 63 Up

Talking about juxtapositions Thom Powers on dreams, fashion, identity, nature and bright spotlights in DOC NYC

Dedicated to DA Pennebaker Thom Powers on Martin Scorsese, Michael Apted, the Masters and Winner’s Circle in the tenth edition

More news and features

We're bringing you coverage of Tallinn Black Nights, Welsh horror spectacular Abertoir and the French Film Festival.

We've recently been at the London Korean Film Festival and DOC NYC, the Valencia Film Festival, New York's NewFest, the Cambridge Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, and Manchester's Grimmfest.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.