The French authorities that initially charged the vocal filmmaker, for his now infamous Nazi comments at the Cannes Film Festival in May have decided to no longer prosecute him with “justifying war crimes”.
"There was no intention on the part of Mr. von Trier to commit the act of 'justifying war crimes'. He expressed himself in a language that wasn't his own and also under very stressful circumstances.
"We were of course shocked by his words, and it was natural for the associations involved to react as they did. We received the sincerest apologies and don't wish to proceed further in this matter," Grasse’s public prosecutor, Jean-Michel Cailleau told The Hollywood Reporter.
If von Trier had been found guilty of said charges, he would have faced a rather hefty five-year incarceration.
Von Trier found himself persona non grata at Cannes 2011, for telling journalists at a press conference for his film "Melancholia", that he did in fact “understand Hitler”.
“I really wanted to be a Jew, then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family was German, Hartmann, which also gave me some pleasure. I understand Hitler, he certainly did some wrong things, but I can imagine him sitting in his bunker towards the end…now how can I get out of this sentence? Okay, I’m a Nazi,” the director exclaimed.
Despite the controversy surrounding von Trier, "Melancholia" star Kirsten Dunst received the Best Actress Award at Cannes, and likewise, the film won best picture at the 24th European Film Awards in Berlin.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life