French film 'Anti-Semite' banned from Cannes

By Jennifer Lipman, May 25, 2012

A controversial film on the subject of antisemitism produced by an Iranian company was removed from the Cannes Film Festival schedule because it breached the event's guidelines.

The film, called "The Anti-Semite" was due to be screened at the annual cinema festival, but organisers pulled it from the programme.

Shot in nine days by Dieudonné, a French comedian and far-left activist known for his inflammatory statements and stunts about Jews and Israelis, the film features scenes with Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson.

A report issued by the Anti-Defamation league noted that Dieudonné, who has been prosecuted for racist and antisemitic performances and remarks, "is known for his performances which routinely include Holocaust denial, praise for Adolf Hitler, Nazi salutes, slurs against the Talmud and other antisemitic language".

According to AFP, the film features scenes mocking the Auschwitz concentration camp, and shows the comic in Nazi fancy-dress. It was produced by the Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Centre.

Explaining the ban, Cannes Film Market executive director Jerome Paillard said: "Our general conditions ban the presence of all films threatening public order or religious convictions, as well as pornographic films or those inciting violence."

Cannes is no stranger to controversy over artistic reactions to the Holocaust. At the 2011 festival, Lars von Trier made headlines with a string of remarks about him being a Nazi who understood and even sympathised with Hitler.

Last updated: 4:19pm, May 25 2012