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Von Trier Peace speech censored
Jacob Neiiendam in Berlin 12 February 2004
Speaking to Screen, Danish director Lars Von Trier has expressed surprise that his video-taped acceptance speech at Mondays Diamond for Peace Award was censored by the organisers.
Von Trier, who is famously averse to flying, sent in a video speech critical of the Cinema For Peace committee.
However, the tape was cut to remove the controversial passages.
"If that had happened to anybody else but me, I would have been outraged," said von Trier.
Zentropa producer Vibeke Windeloev angrily forced her way on to the stage after the tape was broadcast in front of the events 600 guests at Berlins historic Konzerthaus.
"I know you are all civilised people, but Im pissed off," said Windeloev.
Speaking to Screen the following morning, she added: "I believe that we should return the award," said Windeloev, while Zentropa frontman Peter Aalbaek Jensen added, "they can give it to someone who is more Bush friendly."
The Cinema For Peace event raises money for co-beneficiaries UNICEF and AIDs research foundation amfAR.
The evening began when actor Christopher Lee and Ela Gandhi (the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi) lit the World Peace Flame. Opening speaker was actress Liza Minnelli.
An amfAR spokeswoman said; "the incident had no impact on the event as a whole, which was a great success." The evening raised over $500,000.
Von Triers peace speech:
Dear Peace Committee!
Thank you for the Peace Prize!
I believe in peace just like you.
And we peace-believers see it as our noble task to make everybody in the world feel the same.
But not everybody in the world wants to.
The people of the world are two tribes living in the desert.
One tribe lives in the country with the well in it. The other lives in the country beyond.
The tribe in the country with the well in it wants peace.
The tribe in the country beyond doesn't want peace - it wants water!
The tribe in the country beyond is probably a little bit uncivilized and doesn't even have a word for "peace". But it does have one for thirst, which, in this situation, is more or less the same.
The Peace Committee in the country with the well in it, is made up of good, wise, wealthy, beautiful people who are not thirsty (that's why they have the time and energy for the committee).
The people from the country with the well in it talk a lot about the peace prize the Committee award to other people from the country with the well in it.