Saturday, June 1, 2013

Roman Polanski; Odd Man Out - M. Zenovich 2012


In 1977, Polanski administered drugs to, and then had sex with, a 13-year-old girl at a party with Jack Nicholson. Though no physical violence may have been involved, it was certainly statutory rape, and of course evidence of extremely poor judgement.

The rape victim in question has since moved on, and even forgiven Polanski.
He too wanted nothing rather than to move on; he pleaded guilty, then fled the US for Europe before being served a sentence.

In her 2008 documentary on Polanski, Marina Zenovich found evidence that both the judge and prosecutor in the case were guilty of misconduct. Though Polanski refused to cooperate with her documentary, it unexpectedly led to a reopening of the case in the US, and for some reason - but which? - Switzerland decided to follow suit and had Polanski arrested in 2009.

Zenovich's basic interrogation in this follow-up concerns the how and the why of the second arrest. The film, therefore, contains a lot of red tape; interviews with officials, lawyers and prosecutors; a (perfunctory) investigation of the US conflict with Switzerland on the Union Bank of Switzerland and the names it was supposed to give up at the end of Swiss bank secrecy. Interesting stuff!

The people involved in the inceptive rape case - Polanski and the girl - are hardly present at all, ironically. 
And sadly, as - incidentally - Polanski comes across as a particularly nice chap.

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