'Persona Non Grata': Cannes Film Festival Bans Lars Von Trier Following Nazi Comments

Despite the fact that Lars von Trier apologized on Wednesday following a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival where he said he understood Adolph Hitler, the Melacholia director has been declared "persona non grata" by the festival organizers. Click through to read their statement.

The Festival de Cannes provides artists from around the world with an exceptional forum to present their works and defend freedom of expression and creation. The Festival's Board of Directors, which held an extraordinary meeting this Thursday 19 May 2011, profoundly regrets that this forum has been used by Lars Von Trier to express comments that are unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the Festival.

The Board of Directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars Von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately.

On Wednesday, organizers said they acknowledged Von Trier's apology; judging from this ban, though, it seems like they didn't readily accept what he had to say.

UPDATE: You can now watch Von Trier's controversial statements below.

RELATED: CANNES REVIEW: Lars von Trier Gets Happy, in His Way, with Melancholia

For more of Movieline's coverage from the Cannes Film Festival, click here.

· CANNES: Lars Von Trier Declared 'Persona Non Grata' By Fest Organizers [Deadline]

[Photo: AFP/Getty]


  • RS says:

    How ridiculous. His comments were obviously a joke. A joke hinged upon his disappointment at not actually being a Jew yet to beat.
    "then I found out that I was really a Nazi, because my family is German. "
    The question "does German heritage = Nazi" has basically been a huge theme of German literature since the War. For obvious reasons.

  • Alex says:

    Oh, for Pete's sake! The only thing Von Trier is guilty of is complete inability to successfully make a joke. All he was trying to do was to diss Susanne Bier. Anybody who has ever seen his movies knows that Von Trier is above all a humanist with a penchant for pitch black humor.
    The festival holier-than-thou stance is a joke, considering some of the titles it has hosted over time. And it's particularly hypocritical since I'm sure they know it's a joke that backfired spectacularly and the organizers are just catering to the ignorant masses' moral indignation.
    If Von Trier kills himself over this (and we know he could), it would be a catastrophe.

  • Andrew says:

    I agree with my fellow posters, this is just stupid. It's quite clear even from just reading the transcripts of what he said that his brain was telling him to shut up but his mouth kept moving and moving.
    And really? They're gonna ban him for saying the word Nazi, yet last year they circulated a frigging petition in favor of that kiddie raping sodomite Polanski?
    Oh okay. I guess saying a few ill advised words that would be considered tepid at best on the internet is SO MUCH worse than repeatedly drugging and raping children and then fleeing prosecution for multiple decades.
    Artistic freedom for all! Rah rah the beauty of truth! Unless you say a couple words we don't like and then we will ban you for life. Lol irony.

  • 2+2=5 says:

    Please, knowing what to say and where is more gentle art than film making. He clearly failed, because no matter how much you socially awkward, misanthropic, full with anxieties, manic depressive, genius or whatever, it doesn't take too much self experience to know that if you are not comfortable in public and you are afraid of people, you better sit in the corner and shut the hell up.
    He tried to make a joke? Nowadays everyone think they are comedians.

  • Strawberry Pain says:

    All I could think about as I read the statement was, "What about Polanski?"

  • And keep in mind this all happened the day after they rolled out the red carpet for Mel Gibson.

  • Wellie says:

    We could waste time debating the motives/wisdom/judgement of Von Trier, and the motives/wisdom/judgement/hypocricy of the Festival organizers, but perhaps the wiser takeaway from the whole thing is not to make flippant remarks about serious subject matter in public. People, if you play with fire you're going to get burned.

  • Wellie says:

    @ Alex - If you are seriously wringing your hands worrying that that Von Trier is going to kill himself because he reaping the negative consequences of a spectacularly stupid remark in a room full of reporters - then the guy has got you right where he wants you.
    He appears to thrive on making outlandish statements and cultivating a reputation as a cinematic "l'enfant terrible". Guess what - if you push the envelope too far, someone is going to call you out on it. This guy is no dope: he knows what will get him extra press and what won't.

  • The Winchester says:

    You both beat me to the same thoughts.

  • Erika says:

    I think that after 9/11/01 I get tired of hearing inappropriate comments. Worse I believe that jokingly??? It does not justify it at all..., at least not for those who don't take this humanity events jokingly.

  • KevyB says:

    And not long after Jodie Foster's BILLIONTH excuse for Mel Gibson's similar behavior. But nobody should be surprised how overly forgiving actors are. They still line up to act for a teenage-girl-drugging-and-raping auteur!

  • legion88 says:

    BHL,Trautman,Fabius,Sarko,DSK...est-ce que la France va mieux quand elle est aux mains des juifs ?