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 »
This documentary has an assemblage of facts and film footage that appear to have been thoroughly scrutinized. Part of the footage included defense attorney Dalton's explanations of how and why Polanski was forced to sign a document of guilt when he had clearly stated over and over again that he was innocent of the charges. Opening questions and answers from transcript testimony about the event seem to show two different stories being told. The facts were carefully presented so as not to side with either party but to recount the events leading up to and subsequent to the charges filed against Polanski. Sensationalism seems to be a big part of our culture's persona and we can choose to be swept away by our emotions or we can begin to put aside our filters of prejudice and fear and come to terms with actual events without theater calling the shots. This is the question that is haunting me after seeing this film.
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