Lars Von Trier Rejects Iran’s Support With Yet Another Apology

Lars Von Trier’s Nazi comments just won’t quit. A whole week after the Danish director sympathized with Hitler in front of a shocked audience, his feelings on Fascism are still making news, and Von Trier is still apologizing. The latest flare-up comes to us by way of Iran, courtesy of the country’s all-important Vice Minister of Culture, Javad Shamaqdari, who sent a letter to festival directors scolding them for banning Von Trier, calling their actions — the irony is not lost here — “fascist behavior.”

Don’t forget, this is the same Vice Minister of Culture who most likely had a hand in imprisoning many of his country’s filmmakers, including Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, who, as Deadline points out, both had films at this year’s festival. Von Trier quickly reacted to the endorsement with yet another apology, followed by an explanation of what he meant to say.

“In connection with the Iranian Vice Minister of Culture Javad Shamaqdari’s letter to the Cannes Film Festival regarding the “Persona non grata” stamping of my personality, I feel called to make the following comment: In my opinion, freedom of speech, in all its shapes, is part of the basic human rights. However, my comments during the festival’s press conference were unintelligent, ambiguous and needlessly hurtful. My intended point was that the potential for extreme cruelty, or the opposite, lies within every human being, whatever nationality, ethnicity, rank or religion. If we only explain historical disasters with the cruelty of individuals we destroy the possibility of understanding the human mechanisms, which in turn are necessary in order to avoid any future crimes against humanity.”

The takeaway from all of this? Lars Von Trier has an incredibly difficult time expressing himself through words.

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