Von Trier banned from Film Festival after pro-Hitler comments

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CANNES, France (AP) — Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier was condemned and declared “persona non grata” Thursday by the Cannes Film Festival for saying that he sympathizes with Adolf Hitler.

A statement from Cannes organizers castigated von Trier for his comments a day earlier. It is an unprecedented move by the festival that bestowed its highest honor on the director’s film “Dancer in the Dark” back in 2000.

Christine Aime, who heads the festival press office, said von Trier’s current film, “Melancholia,” remains in competition but that if it wins anything at Sunday’s closing ceremony, von Trier “won’t be there to receive the prize.”

At a news conference for the film Wednesday, von Trier said in a rambling speech that he understood and sympathized with Hitler. He said afterward he had been joking and later issued an apology.

The festival statement said the Cannes board of directors “firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars von Trier a persona non grata at the festival.”

Full story: Cannes condemns von Trier after Hitler remarks