Controversial Danish auteur Lars von Trier says he is “sorry for having made Dogville”, the film that may have influenced gunman Anders Behring Breivik’s terrible actions on the Norwegian island of Utøya.
The 2003 movie, which climaxes with the shooting of the entire population of a fictional American town, was listed among Breivik’s favourites on his Facebook profile.
In an interview with Danish newspaper Politiken, von Trier said, “I feel terribly bad thinking that Dogville, which is in my eyes one of my most successful films, could have been a kind of script for him… It is horrific.”
But the director said that if Breivik had taken inspiration from the movie, he had misunderstood it.
“My intention with Dogville was totally opposite, namely to examine whether we can accept a protagonist who takes revenge on an entire town. And here I completely distance myself from the revenge. It’s a way of making the protagonist and our feelings more nuanced and perhaps even exposing them, so that it isn’t just black and white.
“And so you could ask if I am sorry that I made the film. And yes, if it means that it had this effect, then I am sorry I have made it.”
Von Trier was last in the headlines back in May after being banned from the Cannes Film Festival following what appears to have been an ill-judged joke about Hitler.