Lars Van Trier Film Causes Controversy at Cannes Film Festival | Def Pen
Cannes Film Festival
Courtesy of the Cannes Film Festival

The 2018 Cannes Film Festival has been nothing short of eventful. The festival kicked off with a protest by eighty-two of the film industry’s most powerful women who cited the festival’s lack of women directors over the years as the reason for their protest. To be clear, they have a point. Over the festival’s seventy-one year history, only eighty-two of the festival’s 1750 directors have been women.

The festival’s protests continued later on this week when a film prompted approximately one hundred journalists to walk out in disgust. The film in question was the Lars Van Trier directed House That Jack Built. The House That Jack Built attempts to recreate Dante’s Inferno with Mat Dillon starring as a serial killer who murders women and children during his twelve-year run. According to Variety, “The scene that initially led to dozens of walkouts involved Dillon’s character shooting a hunting rifle at two small children, as he blows their heads off.” Ramin Setoodeh of Variety added that he overheard one moviegoer mutter, “It’s disgusting,” as she exited the film.

Emma Stefansky of Slate saw the film and wrote, “Are movies that depict gruesome violence done by men who view themselves as much more interesting than they actually are even a surprise anymore, or are they just more needless goading from figures who find joy in shocking an audience just for the sake of doing so?”

Despite backlash to the film from numerous critics, there is a growing faction of Twitter that is actually more interested in the movie because of the controversy surrounding the film.

The rest of the public will have to wait some time to see the film. It’s unclear whether the film will be released in the United States because of its gruesome nature, but it is currently slated to be released in Denmark this November.


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