Lars Von Trier, the controversial Danish filmmaker, has reacted to being banned from the Cannes Film Festival by suggesting "there's a little bit of a Nazi in us all". Lars Von Trier was declared to be a "persona non grata" yesterday (18th May 2011) following a number of comments he made at a press conference for his new movie 'Melancholia', reports the Associated Press.
After making an apology to the festival's organisers, Von Trier attempted to clarify his remarks, saying, "I must say, 'persona non grata' is a wonderful word. It has a sweetness to it that I can't deny. I'm not at all happy about what happened, but the word is something like an order you get". Von Trier stunned journalists at the press conference by admitting to 'sympathising with Hitler', but the director claims his words were partly taken out of context, saying, "Of course, I don't sympathize with what Hitler had done.The only thing I said was that I, after seeing Bruno Ganz (actor in 'The Downfall) in the bunker, could kind of see a little human being sitting there", adding, "And I thought, that was very good, because I think that there's a little bit of a Nazi in all of us, and there's a little bit of a human being in Hitler, and I think to think otherwise is dangerous". Von Trier's status as 'persona non grata' comes 10 years after he was awarded the festival's highest honour, the Palme d'Or, for his 2000 movie 'Dancer in the Dark'.
The stars of 'Melancholia' including Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg appeared extremely uncomfortable throughout Lar Von Trier's press conference. At one point, Dunst was heard to say, "Oh, my God, this is terrible".