French officials have decided not to press charges against director Lars Von Trier for remarks he made about Nazis at the Cannes Film Festival in May (11).
Public prosecutor Jean-Michel Cailleau confirms the case has been officially closed after the Danish filmmaker was charged in August (11) with "justifying war crimes" by joking about his German ancestry at the event.
Von Trier faced a maximum five-year jail sentence, but Cailleau has made his recommendation to the French Ministry of Justice that the charges should be dropped.
Cailleau tells the Hollywood Reporter, "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."
Von Trier was declared persona non grata at the festival, where he was promoting his latest movie Melancholia.
He told reporters, "I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family was German... which gave me some pleasure. I understand Hitler. He certainly did some wrong things, but I can imagine him sitting in his bunker toward the end... Now how can I get out of this sentence. OK, I'm a Nazi."