Antichrist director Lars Von Trier is no stranger to controversy, but he obviously didn’t realize how much he was about to drum up when he made a poor attempt at a Nazi joke at the 2011 Cannes film festival. You can see the gaffe in the clip above and revel, as I did, in the sheer awkwardness of it all. Kirsten Dunst’s expression alone is discomfort comedy of the highest order! Anyway, Von Trier’s flippant remarks about Hitler were apparently so inflammatory that he has been listed as a persona non grata and banned from Cannes. Von Trier issued a few half-assed apologies following the ban, but the damage has been done, and only time will tell if his career can bounce back from this or if he’s destined to be the next Mel Gibson.
Personally, I think that while Von Trier’s attempt at humour was in poor taste and badly executed, banning him from the festival – where his film is still allowed to compete and be screened – is ridiculous. As others online have pointed out already, Roman Polanski, a fugitive from justice and accused rapist and pedophile, is still allowed at Cannes. Are a few stupid quips about Nazis from a crazy director really enough to warrant him being banned in comparison? I think not. The whole situation has been blown way out of proportion. What do you think?