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Cannes Bans Lars von Trier for Hitler Comments

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Well, that was fast. After Lars Von Trier's strange press conference at Cannes yesterday, where he joked about being a Nazi, said he understood Hitler and suggested that his next film might be called The Final Solution, the director has been banned from the Cannes Film Festival.

In a statement released today, the Cannes board of directors declared it "firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars von Trier a persona non grata at the festival."

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The controversy-monger director's banishment isn't much of a surprise after his insensitive comments ricocheted around the Internet, prompting Jewish rights groups to complain. (See Kirsten Dunst squirm uncomfortably through his comments in the video above). And his half-hearted apology didn't do much to dampen the fires.

Here's today's complete statement from the board: "The Festival de Cannes provides artists from around the world with an exceptional forum to present their works and defend freedom of expression and creation. The Festival's Board of Directors, which held an extraordinary meeting this Thursday 19 May 2011, profoundly regrets that this forum has been used by Lars von Trier to express comments that are unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the Festival.

"The Board of Directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately."

In one sliver of good news for von Trier, his film Melancholia is still eligible for prizes at the festival. But in the unlikely event his film wins anything, the director will not be allowed to be there to accept.

Who's got melancholia now?

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