A documentary about Roman Polanski, the man and filmmaker. Roman Polanski speaks about his eventful life story and career in conversation with Andrew Braunsberg, his former business partner, producer, and friend of many years.
In 1977, Roman Polanski was arrested in Los Angeles on charges he gave drugs and had sex with a 13-year-old girl he was photographing for Vogue. Eleven months later, having pled guilty to one count, he fled to Europe before sentencing. This film examines that year-long period, using archival footage of the media frenzy and of Polanski's life before the charges, clips from his films, and contemporary interviews with many of the principles - attorneys, the victim, and Polanski's friends and associates. Polanski remains enigmatic, but portraits emerge of the machinations of justice and of a judge more interested in his image than his word or the law.Written by
On 26 September 2009, Roman Polanski was detained by Swiss police at Zurich Airport while trying to enter Switzerland. Since this was only 1 year and 7 months after the release of this widely discussed documentary at Sundance (Jan.18, 2008), there is reason to believe, that this film was actually what caused the new arrest warrant, because it dared to question the legality of Polanski's L.A. trial in 1977 and 1978 before he fled to France on 1st February 1978. Polanski and his lawyers also tried to use the new evidence from this documentary to attack the L.A. justice system, which must have awakened their new interest in the old case, too. See more »
There is no doubt that America lost one of its greatest directors when Roman Polanski fled to France after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor. He already had Oscar nominations for Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown, which won him a Golden Globe. He has gone on to win a shelf full of awards, including an Oscar for The Pianist.
There is also no doubt that Polanski was guilty of much more serious crimes against a 13-year-old girl, and this documentary shows the glaring difference that justice in America has for the rich and connected. He could return today and serve 48 days and all would be forgiven. How sad is that? The one question that the film does not answer is why the girl's mother was not arrested and charged for child neglect. It was obvious that she knew the danger she was placing her daughter in.
We do not forgive sex crimes because they happen in Hollywood, or do we? Polanski is one of the greatest directors in the world, and, as a movie lover, I applaud his talent. But, he still committed a heinous crime and should suffer the consequences. Exile to France may seem punishment to the extreme right wing in this country, but we know different.
Marina Zenovich did an outstanding job with this film and should at least receive an Oscar nomination.
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