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Von Trier Nazi remarks rattle Cannes

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Von Trier Nazi remarks rattle Cannes

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Danish director Lars von Trier has once more stirred strong emotions, at the Cannes film festival. Jewish groups were swift to condemn his behaviour at a press conference, where he was asked about his interest in certain aesthetics. His answer relates to his paternity, whether Jewish or Catholic.

He said: “I really wanted to be a Jew: I found out I was really a Nazi. I understand Hitler. But come on! I’m not for the Second World War! I’m not against Jews!”

Von Trier’s competition entry “Melancholia” has been drawing enthusiastic attention from audiences and critics.

The director once said that “a film should be like a stone in your shoe”. Whatever artistic reception his work receives in Cannes or in the cinemas, his labyrinthine thoughts expressed at the press conference have re-confirmed his reputation for controversy.