The government of Iran has protested against the Cannes Film Festival for banning director Lars von Trier for his controversial remarks sympathising with Adolf Hitler at a press conference for his film Melancholia.
A letter sent to Cannes Film Festival president Gilles Jacob by Iranian deputy culture minister Javad Shamaqdari reportedly said its decision to ban von Trier rendered the festival’s claims to defend free speech “a meaningless slogan’. This while two Iranian directors whose films were screened at Cannes this year, Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, have been jailed by their country’s Islamic regime and banned from filmmaking for 20 years for making films critical of the government.
Von Trier has apologised for his remarks, and in response to the Iranian letter said that his remarks were “unintelligent, ambiguous and needlessly hurtful’.
(Source: AP on News24 & The Hollywood Reporter)