Cannes cancels anti-Semitic film screening


(JTA) — The Cannes Film Festival’s screening of "The Anti-Semite," a film by a French comic with a history of anti-Semitism, was canceled.

The film by and starring Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala was produced by the Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Center.

It reportedly pokes fun at the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, where an estimated 1.5 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and features Dieudonne as a violent and alcoholic character dressed as a Nazi officer for a fancy dress party.  Robert Faurisson, a convicted Holocaust denier, also makes a cameo appearance. The film reportedly will be sold over the Internet.

“Anti-Semitism has no place at Cannes, and we welcome the clear statement to that effect from the organizers of the film festival,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.  “Dieudonne’s grotesque anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial may play well to audiences in Iran, but the French entertainment industry and society has clearly had enough.”

Dieudonne has been found guilty of inciting hatred in France.

Last year at Cannes, Danish director Lars Von Trier said he understood and expressed sympathy for Adolf Hitler during a news conference for his film entry "Melancholia."

Quebec’s largest concert promoter pulled the plug on four shows scheduled for last month by Dieudonne, whose routine has included Holocaust denial and joking praise for Hitler. Belgian authorities last month forced Dieudonne to cancel two performances in Brussels. The French news agency AFP reported that police stopped him mid-performance May 9 after determining his act contravened local laws.

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