Danish film director Lars Von Trier has apologised for a string of comments in which he claimed to sympathise with Adolf Hitler and joked about the Final Solution.
Mr Von Trier said he was sincerely sorry if his remarks, made at the Cannes press conference for his new film Melancholia, had hurt anyone.
In a bizarre rant, Mr Von Trier said he was a Nazi and that he would have been unhappy if he was a Jew because of Jewish director Susanne Bier.
He added: "I understand Hitler. I think he did some wrong things but I can see him sitting in his bunker.
"He is not what we could call a good guy, but yeah, I understand much about him and I sympathise with him."
Mr Von Trier went on to joke that he could "do the Final Solution" to make his next film more impressive.
But commenting a few hours later, he explained: "I am not antisemitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi."
The organizers of the Cannes Film Festival said they had asked the controversial direcror for an explanation.
"The director states that he let himself be egged on by a provocation," they said in a statement. "The Festival is adamant that it would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements on such subjects."