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PRODUCTION Denmark

Lars von Trier cuts butcher scenes

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Danish star filmmaker Lars von Trier has had to cut a scene from his latest film Manderlay [+see also:
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giving in to pressure from animal rights campaigners all over the world.
According to the Associated Press, the director had received more than 300 letters from groups and individuals in the US, the UK, Germany and Denmark against one scene showing a donkey being butchered for food.
In a statement published through his production company Zentropa Film, Lars von Trier said he decided to cut the scene because he didn’t want the animal controversy to overshadow the content of the film: “In my view, the political and social content of the film is so important that it would be sad if it could be rejected or ignored merely by referring to the ‘donkey problem’ as it was called in the papers”, said Trier.

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The $14M Danish/French/Swedish/German/Dutch/UK co-production produced by Zentropa Entertainment 13ApS is the second film in Trier’s US trilogy following Dogville, selected in Cannes 2003. In Manderlay, the lead character Grace (played here by The Village star Dallas Bryce Howard in replacement of Nicole Kidman) is shown in her plantation of Alabama called Manderlay where she and her father witness the horrors and injustice of slavery. Other star names in the film include Isaac de Bankolé, Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe, Lauren Bacall, Chloë Sevigny, Jean-Marc Barr and Jeremy Davies.
The film shot again in Film i Väst studios in Trollhättan, Sweden, is aiming for another Cannes selection in May and will be released in Denmark on 3 June, 2005.

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