Roman Polanski. The director and writer has brought us many cinematic masterpieces, such as Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist. Although he is a great artist, he is also a criminal and horrible person. Back in the 1970’s, the director assaulted a young girl and fled the country before he could be properly charged. He hasn’t been back in the USA since and has been living comfortably and releasing movies from Europe for four decades.
A number of feminist groups gathered in protest outside of the film institute, La Cinematheque Francaise in Paris on Monday. Why? Because of Roman Polanski. The Cinema is putting is honoring the director by releasing a retrospective on his career. Polanski entered the event to booing and outrage. Two topless women actually approached the director once he was inside screaming,”No honor for rapist.”
Given that this is coming in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein explosion, many people were critical of the institute honoring a man who had committed similar crimes against women. The institute knew it was tasteless, but decided to carry on the event anyway. Rage quickly ensued. Amongst the protest, the film institute defended themselves by saying that they weren’t out to moralize the director’s actions, but just honor his contributions to cinema.
Soon online petitions were being passed around calling for the retrospective to be shut down. The petition had garnered over 27,000 signatures by the day of the retrospective. Feminist groups have stated that the event is an insult to all the women who posted a #Me Too on Twitter and who has suffered from harassment and abuse.
At the end of the day there is a question that still lingers and it’s a question of whether or not. Will these protesting groups bring change to the film institute. They called on the government to stop supporting the cinema, as they are the ones funding it. Will the government meet their pleading with open ears? We’ll have to wait and see.