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 »
Ultimately, Roman Polanski--whose work I've enjoyed--drugged a 13 year old girl, raped her anally, and got away with it without punishment. The media frenzy is irrelevant. The eccentric judge is irrelevant. The only pertinent piece of data is that He got away with it. Scott free. If it wasn't so cynical, Polanski's gall in seeking to clear his reputation would be comical. Mr.Polanski should thank his luck that he avoided incarceration; his apologists should be ashamed of themselves.
That said, Ms. Zenovich is a talented filmmaker. Her execution is steady and workmanlike. However, she clearly has an agenda. This isn't a bad movie, but it's a disingenuous one. Don't take my word for it, but if you watch it try to look objectively at how the two sides of this case are presented, how the victim is trivialized and how her advocates are villainized, and make your own determination.
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