From an article originally in German in the Frankfurter Rundschau, over at signandsight:
People have accused Lars von Trier of making a misogynist film because he shows this incredibly sensitive and extremely aggressive woman who is burnt like a witch at the end. Can you relate to these accusations?
No. As far as I'm concerned the woman could just as well have been a man. During the filming I kept imagining that I was playing Lars. I kept thinking of all the panic attacks that I have ever had to play. I can't relate to what people said afterwards about his so-called misogyny. Because everything that he inflicts on the female character, he is going through himself. Of course his fear of women is in there, his fear of his mother, his relationship to children. Although he's a man, there's a close connection between him and this woman, through the pain. She experiences what he experiences. Which is why I never saw him as someone looking on from outside, but as an ally, who led me through the role and understood me.
But can you understand why the film has had such a mixed reception?
To be honest, I expected as much. But most of all I was expecting the audience in Cannes to react in disgust. But the opposite was the case. It was film critics who reacted badly, not the audience. The press is clearly much more reactionary by comparison. But I hope this won't be the case in the rest of the world.