Director Von Trier: "no more statements, interviews"

Reuters News

10/5/2011 12:58:49 PM - Reuters News

LONDON (Reuters) - Danish director Lars Von Trier said on Wednesday he would not make any more public statements or give interviews after police questioned him in connection with comments in May that led to his shock expulsion from the Cannes film festival.

He said that police from the North Zealand region of Denmark questioned him about charges made by prosecutors in Grasse, France, in August, which themselves related to the Cannes controversy.

In a statement, the provocative, award-winning director of films including "Breaking the Waves," "Dancer in the Dark," "Antichrist" and "Melancholia" said the charges stemmed from "a possible violation of prohibition in French law against justification of war crimes."

His expulsion from Cannes, where he had previously won the top Palme d'Or award, followed a press conference at which he jokingly called himself a Nazi and Hitler sympathizer.

His remarks angered Jewish groups and Cannes organizers, although many festival goers said the punishment was unduly harsh on a director who was apparently speaking in jest and in English, not his first language.

The 55-year-old apologized, but the ban remained.

"Due to these serious accusations I have realized that I do not possess the skills to express myself unequivocally and I have therefore decided from this day forth to refrain from all public statements and interviews."

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Jill Serjeant)