Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lars von Trier acting like a schmuck

Kalle Kinnunen writes in his blog (in Finnish) about how Lars von Trier made a fool of himself in the Cannes Film Festival with his "ok, I'm a Nazi" remarks. I participated in his blog debate, and I copy my comments here.

The Cannes Film Festival was founded after the Second World War in an atmosphere of liberation and reconstruction. The Nazi occupation hit the French film community severely. Many top artists including Jean Renoir left the country. Harry Baur, one of France's best-loved actors, died after Gestapo torture. Charlotte Gainsbourg's father was among the ones in peril. Olivier Assayas's father was saved from the gas chamber thanks to going to exile in Chile and Argentine.

All "non-Aryans" were persecuted, including the Eastern European "slave people", not to speak about Africans. All left-wingers were harassed. Modern art was banned as "entartete Kunst".

The Danes behaved very well helping all Jews to Sweden, including Ulf Trier, Lars's family father. Lars's biological father Fritz Hartmann was no Nazi but a Resistance fighter in the Frit Danmark movement.

P.S. 22 May 2011. Of course everyone realizes that Trier does not mean what he said. The father who raised him was of Jewish heritage. His radical, anti-authoritarian views are profoundly non-Nazist. So is his modernist, avantgardistic, taboo-breaking film work. His blunder, however, is unfortunately not funny. In Hungary, for instance, neo-Nazis are threatening artists and Jews. Sadly, after the Holocaust Mein Kampf has been a bestseller in some Arab countries [CORRECTED 19 Jan 2012 and] Turkey.

P.S. 13 Aug 2011. Moira Sullivan writes on Lars von Trier's misogynia in Senses of the Cinema, Issue 59, 2011.


Emre izgi said...

First of all Turkey is not an Arab country. Also being bestseller of "Mein Kampf" does not mean there is an admiration of Nazis in Turkey. But of course one of the reasons of the popularity is the conflict with Israel.

Antti Alanen said...

Thank you Emre Izgi, I stand corrected.