Jewish Journal


October 10, 2008

Was Roman Polanski treated unfairly?  BBC documentary says yes



Roman Polanski fleeing to France

“A BBC film sheds startling new light on the underage sex case against the director,” writes David Gritten in the Telegraph:

In any list of globally famous public figures for whom it’s hard to summon sympathy, Roman Polanski would rank high. The brilliantly talented film director, who brought ‘Chinatown’, ‘The Pianist’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ to the big screen, is infamous for having had unlawful sex with an under-age girl in Los Angeles in the Seventies—then fleeing America to escape imprisonment and making a permanent home in France to avoid extradition.

All that is true. But a startling new documentary casts these events in a totally different light. ‘Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired’ probes the legal machinations behind the Polanski case 30 years ago and concludes that the publicity-seeking judge, Laurence Rittenband, was more determined to make an example of Polanski than to uphold the law. The film kicks off the new season of documentaries on BBC Four’s Storyville series next Monday.

Remarkably, the film’s director Marina Zenovich interviewed both Polanski’s lawyer Douglas Dalton and assistant district attorney Roger Gunson, who prosecuted the case - and both men agree that justice was undermined. On camera, Gunson describes the legal proceedings as “a sham”.


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