Lars von Trier responds to Norway killer’s love for Dogville

Lars von Trier, who jokingly claimed he was a Nazi at Cannes earlier in the year only to find himself banned from the festival, could use some good press right about now.

His reputation probably wasn’t helped when it was revealed that Anders Behring Breivik, the man responsible for 77 deaths in the recent Norway killings, loved von Trier’s Dogville, a film in which an entire village is ordered to be killed.

Understandably eager to distance himself from the attacks, the director spoke of his disappointment in having Breivik as a fan. Speaking to Danish newspaper Politiken (and captured by Vulture):

“I feel badly about thinking that Dogville, which in my eyes is one of my most successful films, should have been a kind of script for him … It’s horrific. My intention with Dogville was totally opposite. Namely, to ask whether we can accept a protagonist who takes revenge on the entire village. And here I take the absolute distance from revenge. It’s a way to nuance the protagonist and our feelings and perhaps even uncover it, so it just is not black and white.”

We’re reminded of a similar event when the Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho posed in a series of photos that recalled Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy.

Discuss: This is a big debate, but do you think filmmakers have a responsibility to their audience in depicting violence, particularly in terrible scenarios like the above where it seems they were directly influenced by the film?

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