Lars von Trier eyeing up Cannes return following controversial Nazi comments

The Danish filmmaker was declared persona non grata following comments he made in 2011

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 09 March 2017 11:49

It's been six years since Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier was declared persona non grata by Cannes film festival organisers after making controversial comments about Hitler, but this year could see him return to unveil his new film, The Guardian reports.

The House That Jack Built is a Donald Trump-inspired 70s-set serial killer-drama which tracks the titular murderer, played by Matt Dillon, over the course of a decade-long murder spree in America. His victims will be played by Uma Thurman (his Nymphomaniac star), Riley Keough (TV's The Girlfriend Experience) and Sofie Gråbøl (Sarah Lund in The Killing).

In 2011, Von Trier was answering a question about his German roots when he said: “I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew... Then it turned out that I was not a Jew... I found out that I was really a Nazi which also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? 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.” He was banned.

Now, it seems he's lining up the project for a Cannes premiere, stating: “I have talked to the people I know in Cannes and yeah, maybe.”

Ahead of the controversy, Von Trier had won Cannes accolades aplenty: the Grand Jury Prize in 1996 for Breaking the Waves, the coveted Palme d'Or in 2000 for Dancer in the Dark and several Best Actress awards for the former's star Björk, Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist) and Melancholia star Kirsten Dunst.

Shooting commenced this week in Sweden where he described it as “the most traditional film” he's made. The project was initially developed as a TV series.

Cannes Film Festival takes place 17-28 May.

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