With appointing Kusturica a judge at Cannes, Bosnian director sees hypocrisy

June 3, 2011

by Milos Stehlik

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(Getty Images/Francois Durand)
Serb director Emir Kusturica's has come under fire for comments supportive of Serb war criminals.

Erratic Danish director Lars Von Trier promptly got the boot at this year’s Cannes Film Festival after making jokes that appeared pro-Nazi. While she applauds the effort, Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic thinks the same standard should be applied to Sarajevo-born director Emir Kusturica.

The filmmaker, a two-time winner of the Palme d’Or, has in recent years made sympathetic remarks about Serbian war criminals including Radovan Karadzic. Despite those statements, this year Cannes included Kusturica on a prestigious awards jury.

To protest, Jasmila and a French film actor wrote an open letter to the directors of Cannes.

In a conversation with Worldview film contributor Milos Stehlik, Zbanic says the prestigious festival sent the wrong message.