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Roman Polanski Apologizes To His Sexual Assault Victim In New Secret Doc Premiered In Zurich

by Oliver Lyttelton
September 28, 2011 1:46 AM
6 Comments
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For all the films that he's made in the last 33 years, from the great to the dreadful, everything that Roman Polanski's done has been overshadowed by his 1978 sexual assault of a thirteen-year-old girl. The director was arrested and charged with six counts, including rape, but in a bargain with the courts, plead guilty only to "Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a minor," and was sentenced to 90 days in prison. On his release, however, it was suggested by the judge that Polanski would face more prison time, and the helmer fled to France, where he's lived in exile ever since.

Famously, Polanski was headed to the Zurich Film Festival in 2009 to pick up a lifetime achievement award when he was arrested by the Swiss authorities, and deportation proceedings begun against him, although they were later dropped. Last night, which marked two years since the arrest, Polanski finally picked up the award, and had a surprise with him; an documentary, kept secret until now, entitled "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir," which premiered at the festival after the ceremony.

The film isn't by Polanski himself -- it's directed by Laurent Bouzereau, who's been behind many of the seminal behind-the-scenes documentaries for filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, as well as Polanski -- but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the director takes center stage, the film being made up of a long conversation between him and his producer on "Macbeth" and "The Tenant," Andrew Braunsberg, shot during his house arrest while awaiting his possible deportation.

Their discussion seems to span everything from his childhood in Poland and his escape from the Warsaw ghetto to recent films, but the most headline-worthy piece of news seems to be that Polanski uses the film to publicly apologize to his victim, Samantha Greimer, although not taking the entirety of the blame; he apparently says "She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press" -- something that Greimer herself has concurred with in recent statements.

The question is whether this documentary will ever see the light of day; considering it seems to be less-than-cinematic, we wouldn't bet on anything beyond a festival run, although it's possible that a small distributor might pick it up. Given Bouzereau's background, it might well end up surfacing on some future DVD as an extra -- perhaps "Carnage," which plays NYFF this weekend before hitting theaters on December 16th.

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6 Comments

  • jacobprater1983@yahoo.com | May 15, 2013 10:29 AMReply

    So basically if you direct movies you can kidnap and molest 13 year old girls? What the hell? This guy should be in prison. A) he kidnaped and molested a 13 year old, B) fled the country for 30 years plus, C) gets accolades for movies from 40 years ago so it's ok? This guy will burn in hell, but he should go to prison and get his ass raped and beat up in general population. In prison he will be treated like he deserves by the inmates. Fuck you, Roman Polanski. Eat shit and die.

  • mikehwrites | October 16, 2011 4:30 AMReply

    Good that he takes blame for having consensual sex with a minor. Bad that the girls' mother does not take any of the blame for setting up (selling) her child. But that information was ruled out as being beside the point. Where is Jack Nicholson and Angela Houston in this scenario? It was a mess--drugs and sex and power. BUT the victim today told the courts to leave it alone. Why didn't they listen to the woman--old enough now to make that call! If he had not been who he was, the press and the courts would not have even bothered. In fact, it probably would not have been reported or taken seriously had he not been Polanski. So now, because he is who he is, it all makes the headlines and people become interested in the celebrity, not the victim, again. Her opinion does not matter--it's become a public trial and there are no objective persons left to judge on Earth. Let it go.

  • jacobprater1983@yahoo.com | May 15, 2013 10:33 AM

    Polanski has already been convicted, put his sick ass in prison. The victim has already testified many decades ago. But Polanski fled before sentencing. Regardless who you are or what you have "accomplished", child molestation is never acceptable. This old man is a piece of shit and a sicko.

  • Ian Grey | September 29, 2011 8:42 AMReply

    “She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press”

    As others have noted, this is sort of clever:

    By saying the child was a double victim, he's essentially halving his crime.
    So he's just a half rapist. And as a member of the press, I am now a half rapist.

    So, like, you know, fuck you Roman. You never redeemed your self, you sociopathic child rapist piece of shit.

  • Allison | September 29, 2011 7:09 AMReply

    He belongs in jail. Period

  • zatopek | September 28, 2011 3:33 AMReply

    It's Geimer, not Greimer.

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