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Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 10/05/2011

Lars Von Trier facing charges for Cannes-Hitler statements, won’t talk to the press


Director Lars Von Trier. (YVES HERMAN - REUTERS)
Lars Von Trier said he’s facing charges for the controversial statements he made about Hitler and Nazis at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Danish director said in a statement that he’s been accused of violating the French Gassyot Act, which made it illegal to question the existence of the Holocaust or any crime against humanity. He said he was questioned by police in North Zealand, Denmark.

As a result, he’s now self-imposed a vow of silence: “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 expelled from Cannes in May after he expressed sympathy for Adolf Hitler during a panel for his film “Melancholia.”

“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 after being asked about his German roots. “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. ...

“Okay, I’m a Nazi.”

He later apologized, but was still banned for life from the festival. Then in October, Von Trier took back the apology in an interview with GQ. “I can’t be sorry for what I said. It’s against my nature,” he said.

By  |  03:02 PM ET, 10/05/2011

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