Festival De Cannes expels Lars Von Trier

by Iain Alexander

After a controversial news conference went wrong for outspoken director Lars Von Trier, the director has been expelled from Cannes.

At his Melancholia press conference yesterday, the director made some highly offensive comments which were interpreted as sympathy for Hitler and Nazism.

Never too far from controversy, the director was until yesterday highly respected by the Cannes festival. It would appear that the media backlash surrounding his sympathy for Hitler, and his description of Israel being a ‘pain in the ass’, the festival announced today that he would no longer be welcomed.

Festival De Cannes statement

“The festival’s board of directors … 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 festival said in a statement.

“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.”

This will no doubt be the most talked about controversy of the 2011 Festival De Cannes. It was thought that the film ‘La Conquête’ depicting Nicolas Sarkozy’s obsessive rise to power would have made all the headlines. It certainly kept first lady Carla Bruni away from the festival.

Trailer ‘La Conquête’

Official Selection here