Cannes 2012: ‘The Anti-Semite’ Is Banned From Cannes Marketplace

Anti-Defamation League applauds cancellation of Cannes market screenings for film featuring "grotesque anti-Semitism"

The Cannes marketplace has banned a film called "The Anti-Semite" for being, well, anti-Semitic.

The film, by controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, has been pulled from the Cannes Marche du Film, the marketplace that takes place concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival.

"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 H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, in a statement. "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."

Early Friday, marketplace organizers cancelled screenings of "The Anti-Semite," which reportedly includes scenes in which Dieudonne dresses as a Nazi, and others that mock the Auschwitz concentration camp. Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson also reportedly appears in the film as himself.

“Our general conditions ban the presence of all films threatening public order or religious convictions, as well as pornographic films or those inciting violence,” Jerome Paillard, the executive director of Marche du Film, told Agence France-Press.

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The film was produced by the Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Center. It was scheduled to screen at the marketplace, but its makers planned to screen it on the internet rather than looking for theatrical distribution.

Dieudonne has been the subject of protests in the past; recent shows in Montreal were cancelled after protests from Jewish groups. According to the Anti-Defamation League, he recently announced his candidacy for the French parliament as a member of the Anti-Zionist Party.

In a 2002 interview with Lyon Capitale, he described the Jewish religion as "a sect, a fraud, which is the worst of all because it was the first."

The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism has asked that the film not receive a DVD release.