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It's pretty much impossible to discuss Roman Polanski right now without addressing his presence in the news. (He was arrested in Zurich for charges in the U.S. dating back to 1977, and is reported to be released on $4.49 million dollars bail.) So two things....

Last year, filmmaker Marina Zenovich ('Art In Progress' director) made a documentary for HBO about Polanski and the case that's cast its shadow over him for three decades. It essays the idea that prosecutorial and judicial misconduct 30 years ago should have freed him by now, which is firmly supported by Samantha Geimer, who was 13 years old in 1977 when the two are said to have had a sexual encounter at Jack Nicholson's house. Geimer told Reuters, "I don't think he's a danger to society and I don't think he needs to be locked up forever, and no one has ever come out, ever, besides me and accused him of anything."

Okay, with that dramatic inevibility out of the way there is (thankfully) more to ponder as far as Roman Polanski is concerned.... When Polanski was incarcerated he was in the midst of post production on "The Ghost," a thriller about a ghost writer hired to write the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister. As he delves deeper into the story, the writer soon finds that his discoveries have put his own life in jeopardy. The film stars Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Willams, Kim Cattrall and Tom Wilksinson. Rumour has it that Polanski intends to continue work on the film, in prison or not, so either way his movies will march on -- still something to be admired.

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“I don't disagree at all with the point that law enforcement here seems to have dropped the ball in a major way. After 33 years, to all of a sudden go after a major figure in film is a bit much and I also believe that his messaging as a film-maker probably will do more good for the world. I also agree that the ongoing risk to society should be one criterion by which degree and scope of punishment should be judged. However, if there are to be standards of justice, equally applied, it's difficult to weight too heavily subjective views into account. If the crime were less serious but the victim more adamant, would that make a difference? ”
Posted over 5 years ago
Natalie replies:
“While I do agree that standards of justice should be equally applied, I see it as less an issue of fairness and more of an issue of proper discretion. Rules can't be applied blindly. Subjective criterion have to come into play if we don't want to live under eye-for-an-eye style law. It's an interesting point you bring up about the victim and perhaps there wouldn't be as much support for Polanski if the victim appeared still to be suffering. (And the public sentiment likely carries heavy weight here.) That said, if we're talking about justice, discretion and resources, I still think the situation is a bit unsavoury. Have taxpayers been paying for 33 years of chasing (and hoping to extradite?!) Roman Polanski, someone who has lived in exile -- publicly -- and is in no way a threat to society? Or did the idea just "come up"? Does our justice system realistically chase all criminals to foreign territories indefinitely and invest resources into "trapping" and extraditing everyone who breaks the law? Because then it might seem more fair.”
Posted over 5 years ago
“Do you think he should go to jail?”
Posted over 5 years ago
Natalie replies:
““The short answer would be no. I'm not completely sure why I feel that way but I suspect it has something to do with the 33 years worth of resources spent pursuing someone who is not, in my estimation at least, a danger to society. And in the grand scheme of things, I feel like he's suffered for what he's done and his message as a filmmaker probably puts more good into the world than his imprisonment. What do you think?””
Posted over 5 years ago
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Roman Polanski
Ewan Mc Gregor
Pierce Brosnan
Olivia Willams
Kim Cattrall
Tom Wilksinson
Marina Zenovich
Samantha Geimer