After this morning's press conference for "Melancholia" quickly caused a spread of controversy on the Croisette and across the internet, Lars von Trier has offered a brief apology via an official Cannes press release. The release notes that the festival was "disturbed" by Trier's comments, which included the following:
"I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was happy being a Jew, Then later I found out that I wasn't a Jew. I really wanted to be, but found out I was really a Nazi because my family was German. I understand Hitler, but I definitely see some wrong things. I just think I understand the man. He's not what I call a good guy. I'm not for the Second World War. I'm for Jews, well maybe except for the Israelis - sometimes they're a problem..."
Check out a complete rundown of the press conference here, and the full press release below, which simply states that Trier felt "he let himself be egged on by a provocation.":
The Festival de Cannes was disturbed about the statements made by Lars von Trier in his press conference this morning in Cannes. Therefore the Festival asked him to provide an explanation for his comments.
The director states that he let himself be egged on by a provocation. He presents his apology.
The direction of the Festival acknowledges this and is passing on Lars von Trier’s apology. The Festival is adamant that it would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements on such subjects.
UPDATE: U.S. distributor Magnolia Pictures also sent around a release, which included an extended statement from von Trier:
In connection to the Melancholia conference this morning, Lars von Trier has the following statement:
"If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize. I am not antisemitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a nazi." - Lars von Trier.