[guest post by Dana]
This, in spite of the unraveling horror show that is Jeffrey Epstein and his countless sexual assaults on untold numbers of minor females. I just can’t even. First, a brief reminder of what Polanski did:
On March 10, 1977, Polanski, then 43, invited 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now Geimer) to the Los Angeles home of pal Jack Nicholson for a photo shoot. After plying Gailey with glasses of champagne and half a Quaalude, she alleged that she felt “dizzy… like things were kind of blurry sometimes. I was having trouble with my coordination, like walking and stuff.” She then claimed that Polanski placed her on a bed and performed oral, vaginal, and anal sex on her—ignoring her repeated pleas for him to stop. “I was mostly just on and off saying, ‘No, stop.’ But I wasn’t fighting really because I, you know, there was no one else there and I had no place to go,” she later testified.
Although not in attendance, the audience at the Venice Film Festival was wowed by Polanski and his new film. And as they gave the director a five-minute standing ovation, #MeToo gasped its last breath:
The Venice Film Festival played host to an uncomfortable scene this weekend, as director and convicted sex offender Roman Polanski garnered rapturous applause for his new film, J’Accuse. (English title: An Officer and a Spy. Polanski—who fled the United States decades ago and was expelled from the Motion Picture Academy in 2018—did not receive the applause in person, though journalists reportedly cheered co-producer Luca Barbareschi’s assertion that the event was “a film festival, not a moral trial.”
Vulture documented the strange scene, which featured cast member Emmanuelle Seigner (also Polanski’s third wife) and star Louis Garrel sharing nothing but praise for the absent Polanski’s direction. Co-star Jean Dujardin reportedly wished all actors “the good fortune of one day working with Polanski;” attempts from journalists to reference Polanski’s criminal history were met with both shutdowns from producers and further applause.
In later years, a number of women came forward with their own accusations that Polanski had sexually assaulted them as well. The three women claim they were ages 10, 15 and 16 years old when Polanski assaulted them.
Polanski, in a recent interview with a French media outlet, said that the “persecution” he has faced from people inspired him while he worked on the film:
…J’Accuse chronicles the early 20th century “Dreyfus Affair,” in which Alfred Dreyfus (played by Garrel in the film), a Jewish officer in the French Army, was fraudulently convicted of giving military secrets to the Germans, sentenced to lifetime imprisonment, and banished to a prison island. (He was later exonerated and freed.) Polanski made no secret of parallels to his own conviction in a recent interview with French writer Pascal Bruckner, who called the allegations “present-day neo-feminist McCarthyism.”
“In the story, I sometimes find moments I have experienced myself, I can see the same determination to deny the facts and condemn me for things I have not done,” Polanski said in the interview, which was included in official film notes distributed to press. “Most of the people who harass me do not know me and know nothing about the case. . . . I must admit that I am familiar with many of the workings of the apparatus of persecution shown in the film, and that has clearly inspired me.”
The victim’s grand jury testimony tells us pretty much what we need to know about Roman Polnski: (Warning: very graphic)
A. Then he lifted up my legs and went in through my anus.
Q. What do you mean by that?
A. He put his penis in my butt.
. . . .
Q. Do you know whether he had a climax?
Q. And how do you know that?
A. Because I could kind of feel it and it was in my underwear. It was in my underwear. It was on my butt and stuff.
Q. When you say that, you believe that he climaxed in your anus?
Q. What does climax mean?
A. That his semen came out.
Q. Do you know what semen is?
Q. Did you see some semen or feel some semen?
A. I felt it.
Q. Where did you feel it?
A. I felt it on the back of my behind and in my underwear when I put them on.
Contrary to Polanski’s claim, I think we all pretty much know that what he did to that child. And what I know compels me to never, ever watch one of his films, let alone give him a standing ovation.People who choose to support Polanski and give him standing ovations, demonstrate an obscenely elitist indecency. For if you are willing to ignore and/or rationalize the sexual assault of a child for the sake of “art,” then you are an indecent person. Maybe the audience wasn’t bothered by the suffering of a child because they believe that the resulting art would not have been possible had it not been for the suffering that Polanski has endured in the aftermath. Some people are able to separate art from the morality (or lack therein) of the artist. To me, if the artist has inflicted a destructive act of violence on a child, I will never be one of those people.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)