The Null Device

It's over for Polanski

Cinematic genius and convicted child-rapist Roman Polanski has been detained in Switzerland on the grounds of his outstanding US arrest warrant for rape, when he went to the Zurich film festival to pick up a lifetime achievement award. Switzerland has an extradition treaty with the US. Anyway, it appears to be over for him; unless he manages to somehow get off this hook, he will now most probably die in a US prison.

For those feeling sorry for Mr. Polanski and hoping that this can be resolved quickly without this great man seeing the inside of a US prison, I refer you to a transcript of his victim's testimony (obviously NSFW). Be warned: it is uncomfortable reading.

Update: Zurich Film Festival Offers Award to Osama bin Laden.

In a statement released by the film festival, organizers said that they were recognizing Mr. bin Laden for his "body of work," referring to the chilling terror tapes that the al-Qaeda kingpin has released over the past ten years.
Meanwhile, notes from Associated Press's reporters theorise that the Swiss authorities' sudden decision to arrest Polanski has something to do with US pressure over the UBS bank.

There are 7 comments on "It's over for Polanski":

Posted by: dcf Mon Sep 28 08:12:14 2009

I didn't read your link to the victim statement, but wanted to thank you for linking anyway.

I admit to feeling a touch of "let bygones be bygones" upon hearing the news last night, but quickly came to my senses... I think experiencing the same doubts initially about Spector recently made me realize that tolerance of the "bad behaviour" of artists is not much different than the "boys will be boys" mentality forgiving football fans for player gang rapes.

Posted by: dcf bB6tG Mon Sep 28 08:18:07 2009

Forgive the bad grammar in the last post.. Whenever I comment on dev.null I get paranoid about the insanely quick timeout of the captcha forcing me to copy all just in case I have to reload and paste. Being able to reload the captcha without reloading the page would be great?

(actually, I have just realized you have now fixed this issue.. Thanks..)

Posted by: dcf Mon Sep 28 08:19:32 2009

(not typing the captcha in the URL field may also help.. :) )

Posted by: ianw Wed Sep 30 00:43:47 2009

call me oold fashioned (pre auto-saving web-based e-mail etc) but I still Select All then Copy (..and the keystrokes it took us to discuss this amount to how many..?)

but re: Polanski, last year's film (Wanted and Desired) was interesting. I'm not sure how to retrieve (via google or my own memory) some of the points it raised, but it was something about his case serving the careers of a certain DA (the joke at the time, he being a Mormon or somesuch, that he was the only DA in LA who hadn't had sex with a 13 year-old) and a certain judge, married at the time of the case but also openly having an affair with someone who was 19 or something.

What I find personally interesting is not what exactly RP was guilty of, but how his case was used to sweep under the carpet the normality of precisely such behaviour in certain circles - in other words, to let the rich and famous carry on with their drugs and illegal sex, by scapegoating the little horror-film-making foreigner.

Posted by: acb Wed Sep 30 01:32:42 2009

I haven't seen the film, but according to the MetaFilter thread, it's not exactly even-handed; it starts with a hagiography of Polanski, and then edits his victim's testimony to make her seem dishonest or unreliable. I'd take it with a grain of salt.

I have not seen the fact that Polanski committed rape (not statutory rape, actual rape; had she been 23 or 33, it would have been rape as well) credibly disputed.

Posted by: ianw Thu Oct 1 17:59:18 2009

that Metafilter thread is a read-and-a-half (and I'm not even half through) but there are a few posts that point to what I was trying to say: that in certain circles, in those days, it would have been perfectly reasonable for a 43yo man to offer pills & alcohol to, say, a 19yo girl, and/or have sex (and perfectly reprehensible outside those circles, then as now). I suspect (but like I said, I'll have to watch it again) the doco (it is quite one-sided, yes) suggests his plea of guilty (to one of the counts, which exactly I'm not sure) and thus his status as a Convicted Rapist was lodged in the context of a plea-bargain which would have seen him pay restitution (which he gone on to do: 50% of all profits on films since 77? someone says so on Metafilter) and not go to prison. He heard word of the judge reneging on the deal, and so returned to France. It (the documentary) doesn't make the victim seem dishonest/unreliable (her mother, maybe!) but we also shouldn't assume her statement is 100% true, omits nothing..

Posted by: ianw Thu Oct 1 18:36:39 2009 which I only mean to suggest she may have omitted some of the pertinent facts (ie. evidence that probably came up in cross-examination, but is not being quoted on the Nets) and that just because Polanski is a 'convicted rapist' doesn't, in this case at least, mean much. I'm curious to know (after reading Metafilter) if this 50% figure is true. I'd also like to know if the judge (who reneged on the plea-bargain and) found him guilty in absentia really was of the questionable character (not a philandering paedophile, but almost) the doco suggests.

In other news, India issued yet another arrest warrant last month for (the extradition of) Warren Anderson, for the thousands killed at Bhopal (Union Carbide malpractise) in 84. I hear he's been living it up much nicer than Polanski. I must admit I didn't know who he was til I read this, about 8 years ago (from Arundhati Roy in the Guardian),4273,4266289,00.html

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