Al Pacino pulls out of ‘Nazi’ Knut Hamsun play

American acting legend Al Pacino has pulled out of a stage adaptation of ’Hunger’, the dark psychological novel by Norway’s Knut Hamsun, because of the writer’s enthusiastic support for Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Al Pacino pulls out of 'Nazi' Knut Hamsun play
Al Pacino at the Rome Film Festival in 2008. Photo: Andrea Ricca/Flickr
Pacino, best known for playing Michael Corleone in The Godfather films and Tony Montana in Scarface, had signed up to be the narrator in the play, which was scheduled to premier at the Bergen International Festival in May 2017. 
It would then go on to play at Copenhagen’s Aveny-T theatre and at Aarhus Theatre. 
“It is correct, he jumped at the last moment because he couldn’t come to terms with Knut Hamsun's support for the German occupiers and Nazism. We must respect that,” Jon Stephensen, Aveny-T’s manager, told BT
Hamsun was a pioneer of psychological literature and an influence on writers as diverse as Franz Kafka and Ernest Hemingway. 
However, during the Germany occupation of Norway, he became a firm supporter of the German war-effort, getting to know many of the highest ranking German officers, including Joseph Goebbels. 
After Hitler’s death he published an obituary in which he described the German leader as “a preacher of the gospel of justice for all nations”. 
Aveny-T aimed to film Pacino in 3D over a day and then use the footage to project him onto the stage. 
“It would have been really been great if it had succeeded,” Stephensen said. “I have several times in the process thought that I was dreaming. It would have been massive if he had come to Copenhagen.”
Hamsun was already 80 years old when the Nazi's invaded Norway, something his supporters say should be taken into consideration when condemning him for his approach to the Nazis. 


Refugees raise far-right threat: Norway intel

The biggest risk posed to Norway's national security by the influx of migrants is a possible violent reaction from the far-right, and not the infiltration of Islamists, Norway's intelligence service said Thursday.

Refugees raise far-right threat: Norway intel
Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik makes a Nazi salute at his trial in 2012. Photo: Lise Åserud / Scanpix

“Asylum seekers linked to radical Islam are not a main concern to the PST in the short-term,” intelligence service PST said in a statement.

“The increasing flow of asylum seekers in Norway could, first and foremost, have negative consequences on threats linked to far-right circles in Norway. This is because hostility to immigration is one of the main issues, and an important mobilising factor, for these circles,” it said.

The Scandinavian country is still traumatised by its inability to prevent right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik's July 2011 twin attacks. He killed 77 people over his opposition to multiculturalism and what he called “the Muslim invasion.”

Norway has never experienced a deadly Islamist attack on its soil. Some on social media have suggested that members of the Islamic State or other extremist Islamic groups may be slipping unnoticed into European countries amid the large influx of migrants, in order to carry out attacks one day.

“The threat linked to radical Islam comes primarily from people born or raised in Norway, and who have been radicalised here,” PST said.

The statement added that the far-left could also pose a threat, and noted that the two sides could face off in violent clashes. 

In the first eight months of the year, Norway registered more than 8,000 asylum seekers, of whom about a quarter are Syrian, with the numbers rising in recent weeks.

Immigration authorities expect up to 20,000 asylum applications for the full year, which would be a record.