Von Trier hit headlines this week (beg16May11) after expressing sympathy for Hitler while discussing his German heritage at a press conference for his new movie Melancholia at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Festival directors subsequently banned von Trier from the event.
Now fellow Dane Refn has addressed the controversy, admitting the comments reflect a problem with attitudes in their native country.
At a press conference for his movie Drive, Refn told reporters, "I think that what Lars said was very unacceptable, and I don't want to comment on his movie (Melancholia). I haven't seen it.
"I think it just shows that in Denmark we have a very small mentality and we sometimes forget that there are other people around us.
"I was very repulsed by what he said, and for my family's sake as well, and how it affects them and everybody else. I don't really want to get into it. Whatever he wants to do, it's his life. The man's 60 years old."