Director Lars von Trier Calls Himself a Nazi

According to the Globe and Mail article Lars von Trier Apologizes for Nazi Comments at Cannes:

You could practically see the headlines forming themselves in thought balloons above the journalists at the press conference Wednesday when the 55-year-old director [Lars von Trier] called himself a Nazi, expressed sympathy for Hitler and suggested he make a movie about a “Final Solution for journalists”

People, including the Globe and Mail article author Liam Lacey, have suggested that von Trier was attempting to make a joke and that he is “a man without ordinary emotional and intellectual filters.” Certainly some mental conditions (which von Trier may or may not have) do make people less able to filter their thoughts before speaking. However, I think we should be more concerned that von Trier had those thoughts than the fact that he wasn’t able to keep his mouth shut.

Von Trier’s comments came out when journalists asked him about previous remarks where he had indicated interest in “the Nazi aesthetic.” His comments included:

  • “My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler.”
  • “I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier. … In fact, I’m very much in favour of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass, but … now, how can I get out of this sentence? Okay, I’m a Nazi.”

Von Trier later apologized, indicating that he is not antisemitic and that he is not a Nazi. However, for obvious reasons the sincerity and accuracy of his apology is being questioned.

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Annie blogs about the art and science of parenting at the PhD in Parenting blog.

Photo credit: d.i. on flickr


Nicola Reddwooddforest
Paul Norup4 years ago

The reason why people make such a fuss about those comments from Lars von Trier is because they can clean wash themselves by shifting all the focus of badness on to him and away from themselves. This fact alone constantly makes me feel urged to throw some provocation at folks when I (Nicola) talk to people because I want to make people look at themselves, not in shame, but to take a really close look at themselves, each person individually. Lars von Trier has the right to provoke people whether it was intended to provoke or not. Its through provocation that we move ahead and grow mentally.

Allan Yorkowitz
.6 years ago

Interesting how Cannes is morphing into a political event. This director is evidently an idiot. Mel Gibson, trying to slither back into Hollywood's good graces...walking with gay Jodie Foster no less. Although Foster may have made a film with Gibson, I am disappointed in her friendship with him.

Antonio Doni
Antonio Doni6 years ago

another Great Dane just f... up because of a remark which was spoken at the wrong time with the wrong people around. Liberty of speech can sometimes have very expensive results. Do you think he has learnet now??

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta6 years ago

If his apology was sincer he would have said it sincerely, not a nice story :-(

Annie Urban
Annie Urban6 years ago

I am surprised that so many people think it is ridiculous for Care2 to be reporting on this. Von Trier ended up being kicked out of the Cannes festival for his remarks. Obviously they weren't taking it as lightly as many of you.

James T.
James Taylor6 years ago

Anyone remember his film The Idiots? The same kind of media frenzy surrounded it at the time as I recall because of it's taboo subject matter. The director is well-known for his confrontational and controversial ideas and has been for a long time, and he obviously has a quite a black sense of humour. Now if someone like Spielberg had said this, I would be concerned.

Nicola Payne
Nicola Payne6 years ago

Whether he was joking or not, a joke about Nazism and what the Jewish people went through is just not acceptable...ever.

He understands Hitler, well screw him.

Pradip Chavda
Pradip Chavda6 years ago

Von Trier tried and failed miserably like hitler. No doubt he is a MENTAL nazi.

Little A.
Little A6 years ago

Lars von Trier can be Googled, Wiki'd but if you've seen the masterpiece that Dogma is, you know he has an interest in the human workings.

Care2, in need of a few new writers? Or is gossiping too profitable?

Bill Benson
William Benson6 years ago

The more crap like this that I read on Care2 or these ridiculous polls make me wonder why the hell I even bother. Reading most of the comments I think people would agree.

The man makes abstract and odd movies he thinks in an abstract and odd way he is also a satirist. He had nothing to apologize for except for the simple fact he has to share a planet with PC sensationalist so called journalists who are unable to come up with anything meaningful to write about.