The Cannes Film Festival is no stranger to political statements, especially in the wake of last year’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the Bush-bashing film by Michael Moore.
This year, a Danish moviemaker is on the attack against President Bush, calling him an “a–hole,” and saying America is “sitting on the world.”
The remarks are by Lars Von Trier, the director of “Manderlay,” part two of a scathing trilogy about life in America in the 1930s, set on a plantation where slavery still exists. The film stars Willem Dafoe, Danny Glover and Bryce Dallas Howard, the daughter of actor-director Ron Howard.
Though Von Trier has never been to the U.S., he blasted America and President Bush during a news conference in Cannes, saying:
America is a subject because such a big, big part of our lives has to do with America. In my country it is overwhelming what has to do with America. I must say I feel there may just as well be American troops in Denmark because so much is American. We are a nation under influence. And also under a very bad influence from America right now because I think Mr. Bush is an a–hole. America is kind of sitting on the world, there is no question about it. It is sitting on the world and therefore I am making films that have to do with America because America fills about 60 percent of my brain. So in fact, I am an American. But I cannot go there to vote, because I am from a small country. So I just sit there and analyze and make films.
“Manderlay” features a strong theme about racism, with Von Trier saying, “There is one thing that I think really kills any debate in any country and this is really true in America and that is political correctness. That stops any discussion. I think it’s a fear of talking. If you have political correctness than you all agree and politics is about not to agree.”