Danish film director Lars von Trier rocked the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday with seemingly half-hearted remarks expressing sympathy for Hitler and criticising the state of Israel.
“I understand Hitler,” the 55-year-old director told a press conference marking the premiere of his latest film Melancholia. “I think he did some wrong things. I can see him sitting in his bunker,” he said.
His comments, which appeared to be said in jest, threatened to overshadow the movie that is the story of two middle-aged sisters set against the end of the world, as a planet called Melancholia threatens to collide with earth.
The movie draws strongly on notions of German romanticism with the story played out against the overture from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.