Danish film director Lars von Trier has been condemned and declared “persona non grata” by the Cannes Film Festival for saying he understands and sympathizes with Adolf Hitler. A statement from Cannes organizers Thursday castigated von Trier for his comments a day earlier. It is an unprecedented move by the festival that bestowed its highest honor on the director’s film “Dancer in the Dark” back in 2000.

Though the statement did not specify whether von Trier’s current film, “Melancholia,” has been booted from Cannes, a spokeswoman for the festival press office said it remained in the competition for prizes, which will be handed out at a closing ceremony Sunday. At a news conference for the film Wednesday, von Trier said in a rambling train of thought that he understood and sympathized with Hitler. He said afterward he had been joking and later issued an apology.

We covered von Trier in a few stories in Nordic Reach Magazine, most relevant might be Sad Scandinavian Cinema