Von Trier's 'Antichrist' wins Nordic film award

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The Independent Culture

Lars von Trier's "Antichrist" won the Nordic Council's award for best film of the year, Danish public radio DR said Tuesday.

"I am of course very happy and think it's fantastic," the Danish director told the radio, adding he did not think he would be rewarded for a such a controversial film.

"The other films must have been very bad if mine is this year's best in the Nordic countries," he said.

Von Trier made the film, inspired by his dreams and obsessions, as a form of therapy after a mental breakdown and has insisted it was the most important work of his career.

"Antichrist" -- starring French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg and US actor Willem Dafoe -- has Dafoe playing a psychotherapist who takes his wife to a log cabin retreat to help her overcome her grief at their baby's death.

But instead they descend into a crazed spiral of violence.

At least four people fainted and critics jeered during the Cannes festival screenings of the film earlier this year, where it competed in vain for the Palme d'Or top prize.

Von Trier will be awarded 350,000 Danish kroner (47,000 euros, 70,250 dollars) in prize money on October 27 in Stockholm by the Council, which is an official cooperation forum between the governments and parliaments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Gainsbourg won the Cannes best actress award for her role in the film, in which she masturbates Dafoe to bring him to a bloody climax before drilling through his leg and bolting it to a millstone.

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