Lars von Trier Sympathizes with Hitler, Says He's a Nazi; Later Clarifies He Is Not a Nazi

May 18, 2011


Usually it's his films' clitoridectomies that earn all that shocked awe at Cannes, but today it was director Lars von Trier himself earning the festival's gaping faces when, at a conference for his upcoming Melancholia, he sort of kept saying he was a Nazi, joking with the audience:

"For a long time I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew, then I met Susanne Bier [fellow Danish director and this year's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film] and I wasn't so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family was German. That also gave me pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler. I sympathize with him a bit.

"I don't mean I'm in favor of World War II and I'm not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier. In fact I'm very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass [pause] ... How can I get out of this sentence? OK, I'm a Nazi."

Perhaps rightfully, that "heh heh, I'm a Nazi!" humor didn't go over so swell, and Cannes reps were quick to point out that they do not wish their festival to be an outlet for announcements of Nazi party affiliation, saying they are "adamant that it would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements on such subjects"--not that they had any better ideas for where one should give Hitler an understanding nod.

Von Trier, too, later joined in the apologizing, saying:

"If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize. I am not anti-semitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi."

OK? So if we're going to sit around worrying about directors and Third Reich affiliation, let's get back to thinking about how much Nazi gold Uwe Boll is wasting on BloodRayne films.

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