Lars Von Trier: I’ll never speak in public again

After sympathising with Hitler at Cannes, the Danish film-maker takes a vow of silence

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Controversial Danish film-maker Lars Von Trier is to restyle himself as merely a Danish film-maker: in an extraordinary statement, he’s vowed never to speak in public again.

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The self-imposed silence is a response to events at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Von Trier was quoted as saying: “I understand Hitler. He did some wrong things, absolutely, but I can see him sitting there in his bunker at the end … I sympathise with him, yes, a little bit… But come on, I am not for the Second World War, and I am not against Jews. I am very much for Jews; well, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the ass. But still, how can I get out of this sentence? OK, I’m a Nazi.”

Having received a fair amount of criticism for this in the press, the Melancholia director also had a brush with the law. “Today at 2 pm I was questioned by the Police of [Danish region] North Zealand,” Von Trier announced today, “in connection with charges made by the prosecution of Grasse in France from August 2011 regarding a possible violation of prohibition in French law against justification of war crimes. The investigation covers comments made during the press conference in Cannes in May 2011.”

“Due to these serious accusations, I have realised 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.”

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Von Trier will now avoid offending anyone by retreating from the public eye to work on his new film: Nymphomaniac, which is described as charting “the erotic life of a woman from the age of zero to the age of 50”.