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Dancer in the Dark director Lars von Trier diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

Director Lars von Trier appears at the premiere of the film The House That Jack Built (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Director Lars von Trier appears at the premiere of the film The House That Jack Built (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, director of films including Dancer in the Dark and Melancholia, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

His production company Zentropa said it released the information in order to avoid speculation about his health leading up to the premiere of his series The Kingdom Exodus at the Venice Film Festival next month.

Zentropa said von Trier, 66, was diagnosed at the beginning of the summer.

“Lars is in good spirits and is being treated for his symptoms,” producer Louise Vesth said in a statement. “And the work to complete The Kingdom Exodus continues as planned.”

In his four decades of filmmaking, von Trier has won some of the most prestigious international film awards including the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or for Dancer in the Dark.

(Left – right) Willem Dafoe, Lars Von Trier and Charlotte Gainsbourg on the red carpet
Von Trier, pictured in between Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, has attracted acclaim and criticism throughout his career (Ian West/PA)

His films and comments have sometimes stirred up controversy as well.

He was famously banned from Cannes for seven years after making comments sympathetic to Nazis during a 2011 press conference.

Von Trier returned to the festival in 2018 with the serial killer drama The House That Jack Built.

The Kingdom Exodus is the third and final season of a series which first premiered in 1994 in Denmark but have not been made widely available.