Facing Charges For Cannes Debacle, Lars Von Trier Vows Silence
Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier released a statement Tuesday saying that because he was recently interrogated by police in Denmark over controversial comments he made at the Cannes film festival in May he has decided to retire from public speaking — for good.
Von Trier said that the seriousness of the accusations have caused him to doubt his ability to speak publicly without being misunderstood. "Today at 2 pm I was questioned by the Police of North Zealand in connection with charges made by the prosecution of Grasse in France from August 2011 regarding a possible violation of prohibition in French law against justification of war crimes," he said in the statement. "Due to these serious accusations I have realized that I do not possess the skills to express myself unequivocally and I have therefore decided from this day forth to refrain from all public statements and interviews."
Von Trier was ejected Cannes after saying that he "understood" Hitler at a press conference for his film Melancholia.
While rambling about his German heritage, he said his ancestry made him “sympathize with (Hitler) a little bit.”
Von Trier's comments caused actress Kirsten Dunst, one of the stars of Melancholia who happened to be sitting next to him at the conference, to try and stop him by saying, "This is terrible." Von Trier continued anyway: “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 at the time. “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," he went on. "I am very much for Jews. No, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the ass.”
Afterwards, the director maintained that he was joking and issued an apology, which he later retracted in an interview with GQ. He said he wasn't sorry — only that he wished he had made it clear he was joking.
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