Von Trier Apologizes For Nazi Comments

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May 18, 2011 | 2:20pm EST

Cannes Film Festival organisers have accepted an apology from director Lars Von Trier over controversial statements he made about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Von Trier stunned reporters at a press conference for his new film Melancholia on Wednesday when he launched into a rant about his German heritage and declared he could “understand” Hitler.

Festival officials subsequently condemned his remarks and admitted they were “disturbed” by the Danish filmmaker’s outburst, prompting von Trier to backtrack over his comments and personally apologize for causing a stir.

According to festival organisers in France, von Trier explained he had “allowed himself to be egged on by a provocation” during the press conference.