The Cannes festival has declared Danish film maker Lars von Trier unwelcome, and expelled him, because he called himself a Nazi and a Hitler sympathiser. While the sincerity of his apology remained in doubt, a spokeswoman for Cannes said the director’s entry, ‘Melancholia’, would remain in competition.
Flippant remarks he made at a press conference on Wednesday angered Jewish groups, among others. Von Trier was alluding to his own paternity, raised told his father was a Jew, then learning his biological father was a Catholic.
He told the press conference: “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!”
The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants welcomed the festival’s response, saying: “The organisers have taken a determined moral stand against cavalier expressions of hate and insensitivity to those brutalised by the Nazis — Jew and non-Jew.”