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May 25, 2010

The Polanski Liberation Front

They were out in force at Cannes, in black T-shirts bearing the name of the martyred artist--not that Iranian director imprisoned by his government to prevent him from attending the festival, but Roman Polanski. Here in France quite a few filmmakers as well as some prominent politicians and intellectuals have joined the crusade to free him.

Reflecting the mood on the Croisette, Woody Allen told an interviewer that Polanski had paid a fair price for his "mistake." That would be 42 days in a hospital prison before he decided to flee the country--a fair price for drugging and seducing a 13-year-old girl, according to Allen, who added that Polanski had suffered enough over the years. Allen's empathy may stem from his own run-in with the courts. In 1993 he lost the right to unsupervised visits with his children when a judge ruled that his 7-year-old daughter needed protection from him, and after he ran off with her 22-year-old sister.

Despite the ample publicity it has received, the Polanski Liberation Front is hardly a mass movement in France. But it isn't hard to find men--especially men of a certain age--who regard his arrest in Switzerland and possible deportation to the United States as a grave injustice. And since Polanski is a French citizen, even the government got involved at first. The president talked to his Swiss counterpart, and the foreign minister voiced the hope that the whole affair would "come to a favorable resolution." The minister of culture, an important figure here, proclaimed himself "astonished" by Polanski's detention, but he grew silent after it was revealed that he had written a memoir in which he confessed--ruefully, it must be said--to engaging in sex tourism in Thailand. Since then the state has been, at least publicly, hors de combat.

That has left the field to filmmakers. More than 180 of them have signed a petition demanding Polanski's immediate release and expressing shock that he could have been arrested en route to a film festival in a "neutral country." In fact, he had traveled widely in Europe for years without being detained, and he must have reasoned that the Swiss would tolerate anything except the building of minarets. But he was wrong. The burgeoning scandal over pedophile priests no doubt forced Switzerland to act.

"Where will it end?" cried the petitioners, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Polanski had fled from sentencing, an act that overrides the statute of limitations in the U.S. One can understand why he would choose to depart. The judge, who initially approved of a deal in which Polanski would plead guilty but face no prison time, was apparently on the verge of changing his mind. Then, too, the victim in the case had wanted the matter dropped, and she still does. But men have been thrown in jail for beating their wives, even when their wives changed their stories. What earned Polanski the right to evade the law? The most common answer from his supporters is that he is one of the world's greatest directors, and in France there is a tradition of regarding the artist as a sacred beast, outside if not above the law.

If the matter had remained within the film industry it might have been seen as a parochial concern. But another breed of sacred beast has joined the fray. Several popular philosophers, of the sort the French call intellectuels médiathèques, are carrying Polanski's banner. The most prominent of them is Bernard-Henri Lévy, whose bottle-grey mane and chest thatch can be seen on many a high-end chat show. Lévy, a friend of Polanski, is the organizer of the now-famous petition. He does not claim that artists ought to be immune from prosecution. Mais, non, it's "the whiff of popular justice" in America--especially the fact that judges are elected--that justifies Polanski's decision to flee. "This lynching," Lévy writes, "is a disturbance of the public order more serious than Polanski remaining free."

There is room for argument here. Certainly the fact that the new prosecutor on the case is running for attorney general of California calls his zeal into question. But underlying these complexities is the crime. And among Polanski's supporters there is a consensus that he has served his time. Bear in mind that France is a country where someone who knowingly spreads a false rumor about the president can be imprisoned for much longer than 42 days.

Enter Alain Finkielkraut, another prominent media-sophe, best known for his fulminations against the Internet and his characterization of the recent riots by black Parisian youths as "a pogrom against the Republic." Now Finkielkraut has discovered a new outrage, appearing in any venue that will have him to insist that Polanski is being persecuted because he is an artist. "In a democratic society," Finkielkraut maintains, "art is like an outrage to equality, and so one adores seeing artists fall." What's more, he insists, the victim in this case was no child when she met Polanski, no "fillette." She was "an adolescent who posed disrobed for Vogue homme." He does not mention that Polanski was the photographer, or that he had persuaded her mother to leave him alone with her, or that she didn't want to have sex with him, or that, in any event, she was too young to consent. To Finkielkraut she was a knowing professional, who got a hefty cash payoff from Polanski. Here is a real blast from the past, recalling the rape cases in which the victim's sexual history was used against her, a tactic that is apparently still permissible in France, at least when it comes to intellectual discourse. If a girl puts out too often, or with mercenary intent, she loses her right to be protected by the law. She's a slut--voilà.

France has made impressive strides toward gender equity, and the media's refusal to buy the pro-Polanski line is part of that shift. But the old images of women remain potent--the mother, the whore, and especially the nymphet. The awakening of a girl by an older man is a major theme in French romantic cinema, and one often finds films and sitdrams with grizzled paternal figures initiating nubile young women, though these days the initiation is more likely to involve police work or grandfatherly guidance than sex. There is an undercurrent of nostalgia in these works, and a resonance with the idea that sex with pubescent girls is an act much desired by both parties and too often repressed. To read Finkielkraut's tirade is to understand that he is defending the old France against the new. The shadow of Maurice Chevalier hovers over his shoulder, warbling, "Thank heaven for little girls."

Indeed, the discordance between Polanski's situation and the rhetoric of his defenders is so glaring that one can sense the panic beneath their anger. Lévy fumes that Polanski was arrested "like a common terrorist" (although such people are seldom confined to a chalet in Gstaad). And then there is the "lynch mob" image that both Finkielkraut and Lévy employ. Well, no, Polanski is not being denied due process, nor will he be subject to waterboarding. So what makes these men see bloodred? Why do they view Polanski as a beleaguered artist pursued by implacable forces, rather than a fugitive from justice? Why would former culture minister Jack Lang choose to describe this plodding judicial process as "a manhunt"? The word is revealing, because, in the end, Polanski is the target of a tendency shaped by feminism.

The sexual abuse of children has been a major cause of the women's movement since its origins in the 19th Century. One of its first campaigns was to stop child prostitution, and it succeeded, first in England and then in the U.S., but only after a bitter fight. No one in France would say that the feminists were wrong, but lurking beneath the way these intellectuals frame the Polanski case is a terror of this new, and basically American, feminist perspective. Ironic, because both Lévy and Lang have been champions of American culture, but when it comes to sexual traditions--and sexual fears--the political is always personal, deeply so.

The Vatican is certainly not a French institution, but it is fundamentally a European one. So perhaps the inclination to overlook the severity of Polanski's crime is part of the same attitude that informed both the illusions of predator priests and the willingness of the church to tolerate their acts. The result was a giant conspiracy of men who thanked heaven for little girls--or, for the most part, boys.

Just how old was the original Gigi? In the American movie musical she was played by a cloyingly insouciant but clearly adult Leslie Caron; in the Broadway play, by a 22-year-old Audrey Hepburn. But in the 1944 Colette novel on which the film is based she's a pubescent 15. Those were the days. Or, as Maurice would have waxed nostalgically, "Ah, yes, I remember it well."

May 25, 2010 7:22 AM | | Comments (8)

8 Comments

This is such hypocrisy.

This is about two European men that made it in Hollywood show biz.

The Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger could and should give Polanski a pardon after all Arnold also has slept with underage girls in California .

So if you are the actor in Terminator or work for California as California’s Governor you get a free pass and are forgiven for having sex with minors and for sexually assaulting women who are not minors with impunity.

but this same forgiveness standard has not been extended to Roman Polanski.

So California Government employs one standard for Arnold, (plus its built In Government Claim 910 oppression against sexual assault & sexual discrimination victims, if the sexual assault comes from California's employees) but not the same forgiveness standard is applied to Roman Polanski who does not work for California.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that Polanski should be treated like everyone else, and since the Californian government pardoned Arnold for his prior transgressions (of course he was never charged), so too California’s Governor Arnold - should pardon Roman Polanski.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And if it is not – then it is pure discrimination - plain and simple.

See below for links to more info:


http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-6270067-the-groping-governor.do




http://www.liberty-ca.org/recallgraydavis/swartzenegger.htm


This is about bait and switch contracts made with Roman Polanski, and County of Los Angeles Judges, Prosecutors, District Attorneys plus 13 & 16 year olds tossing integrity to the wind by prostituting themselves for fame, glory financial gain.

WHEN LOS ANGELES OFFICIALS SEEK PROMOTION TO HIGHER OFFICE IN CALIFORNIA, temptations may present themselves, which if acted upon serve to undermine their integrity also.

So if you want to be a Federal Appeals Judge and you ratify the Torture Memos, you'll get your promotion.

After that you'll protect California Justices who got their promotion by holding staged hearings with undocumented white sheriff deputies present in the Santa Monica courtroom to assault and batter sexual assault victims for reporting police corruption.

And in the case of the Santa Monica Judge Rittenband and actress Charlotte Lewis both abandoned their integrity to gain fame, glory, at famed Roman Polanski's expense through making agreements which they breached after Polanski had performed his side of the bargain

In both cases Polanski complied with what Judge Rittenband and Charlotte wanted whiile Charlotte remained silent as her career was made, and both betrayed Roman Polanski.

Steve Cooley who is now seeking higher office in California, is also betraying Polanskifor all the same reasons, using Polanski's name to enhance his own political campaign for higher office.


Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley wants to extradite Polanski under false pretenses by not providing the correct information to the Swiss Justice regarding Polanski's sentence which should be for time Polanski already served at Chino Penitentiary California in the 1970’s.

Roman Polanski drugged and, among other things, sodomized a 13-year-old girl while she begged him to stop.

In favor of letting Polanski (who's been living nicely while on the lam since serving a little tiny bit of a just sentence) the first two comments invoke:

* Somebody else famous got away with something similar, so Polanski should, too.

* The 13-year-old got herself into the situation with Polanski by "prostitut[ing] herself for "fame, glory financial gain," so she deserved to be drugged and sodomized against her will.

* Polanski was the victim (!) of a bait-and-switch contract with the court, so he should be let off.

I don't know what's more salient in these two comments, the weak defense of Polanski they offer, or the disgusting morality supporting it.

PS: Polanski is a great film director, and "Knife in the Water," "Repulsion" and "Chinatown" are great films.

And what morality supports discrimination and Judicial and prosecutorial corruption of Roman Polanski.

Polanski should not serve two sentences. He has served his sentence at Chino. Ask the original Los Angeles prosecutor on Polanski's case - Roger Gunson.

I really enjoy men discussing RAPE. It took forever in most states to get it acknowledged as a "real" crime and now our good ol' boys jump at any opportunity to justify it!! Well fellas he did it! He did it to a drugged underaged girl using a gun as a "sex toy" all of which he admitted. Now as to serving time, most of us with daughters, mothers, wives, sisters, or girlfriends probably don't think he should be out of jail yet.... even if he started serving time on day one!!!! So unless you live in some little dream world where rape is just a misunderstanding or it's never happened to anyone you know....please don't show your ignorance by trying to get this criminal/filmmaker any sympathy 'cause he sure wouldn't do the same for you!!!

I have been following these Blogs on Polanski and have found that the *nearly* exact same comments are being pasted with DIFFERENT PSEUDONYMS, and I commented when it became obvious that these 'appologists' are really just a few people that are SCRIPTED but at the same time, DIRECTED to IMPROVISE rather than following the SCRIPT to the letter -and get caught. If they had COPIED word for word each time then it would be a case of their enjoying their multiple nom-de-plumes, but they are EVER so slighty modified . . . most of the time.

HERE you can see that "Max", and I assume they are using my pseudonym (like most people, I always use Max because it is MY NAME) because I have called-them-out on this, and in other blogs 'Max' is as 'Anon' and Bernard Hernri Levy's he is "L'écrivain fantôme 2".

See for yourself using Google.
Google:[ "two European men that made it in Hollywood" ]

The first ones I discovered and commented about was obvious because THE EXACT SAME COMMENT was made IN THE SAME BLOG by two different pseudonyms! So I Google'd a unique phrase from that comment:

Google:[ "Charlotte lewis popping" + "Bud" ]

and found MANY, MANY different names being used for essentially (and again, just SLIGHTLY different) comments. "Bud" and "Maggy May" and "Jasmine" and "Juniper" and "Madeline" and now "Max" (including here and the other blogs where they have taken to use MY NAME Max to further confuse people and to bury my comments). ALL of these PSEUDONYMS comment collectively on the French versions of blogs by 'Bernard Henri Levy' and ones by Polaski's LAWYERS!
Coincidence, not very likely.

These are either PAID 'Ghost Writers', possibly as part of the media hype for the FILM of the same name, given that million$ are being spent with the hope for the eventual DVD sales to recover some of the $40 mil spent making this slow-with-dissappointing-ending film
I actually think IT MIGHT BE POLANSKI HIMSELF since whomever it is has all the time in the world and is able to PASTE comment after comment with different names JUST AS THE ARTICLES ARE COMING ONLINE! This requires a constant vigilence ofthe online news.

Like in "The Wizard of OZ", someone is behind the curtain of this plethera of comments coming out IMMEDIATELY as a news article is published, but unlike the Wizard, it isn't a kind-hearted gentleman that helps Dorothy get home to Kansas, it is a serial rapist who drugs and then sodomizes her . . .
Let's hope Polanski doesn't do a remake that follows his standard RAPE-RAPE scenes like in "Rosemary's Baby" and "Tess"!

Polanski said, while driving Samantha home after he sodomized her, "You know, when I first met you I promised myself I wouldn’t do anything like this with you."

___ Actual Testimony below ____
The victim testified that after the sex, she got dressed and waited in the car for Polanski to drive her home. Before driving her home, he asked her to keep the incident a secret.

A: He said to me, he goes, ‘Oh, don’t tell your mother about this.’ …

Q: What did you say?
A: I wasn’t saying anything. He says, ‘Don’t tell your mother about this and don’t tell your boyfriend either.’ … He said something like, ‘This is our secret.’ And I went, ‘Yeah.’ And then later he said, ‘You know, when I first met you I promised myself I wouldn’t do anything like this with you.’
___
Source: Transcript of the grand jury testimony in The People of the State of California v. Roman Raymond Polanski. March 24, 1977.

For vaginally and anally raping a 13-year-old girl while she begged him not to, Roman Polanski served 42 days at Chino.

I think every young girl and mother should be aware that if you tempt someone by being topless, and if the underage girl deliberately hides this from her mother, and goes back for more there may be trouble.

"On Feb. 20, 1977, Polanski took me on our first photo shoot in a hillside area just a few blocks from my house. We shot a roll of film; then he asked me to take off my shirt and took topless photos while I changed. I let him do it, but I felt self-conscious. I was thinking, "I shouldn't be doing this," but I was a kid, so I thought if it wasn't okay, he wouldn't tell me to do it. If I'd told my mom, she would never have let me go with him the second time. When he made another appointment a few weeks later, she had no reason to suspect anything. I didn't want to go, but I still thought it would be a good opportunity."

Link: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20124052,00.html

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