Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
(Hat tip to Hot Air)
"How dare they arrest our Roman for some silly 'morals charge'?"
A petition demanding the release of convicted child-rapist (yes, convicted child-rapist) Roman Polanski has been initiated in France by an outfit called the SACD, an organization which represents performance and visual artists. It appears to be a joint French-American (Hollywood) venture. Here is the letter and names of those who have signed thus far.
Petition for Roman Polanski
We have learned the astonishing news of Roman Polanski’s arrest by the Swiss police on September 26th, upon arrival in Zurich (Switzerland) while on his way to a film festival where he was due to receive an award for his career in filmmaking.
His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.
Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision. It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him.
By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.
The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no one can know the effects.
Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.
Filmmakers, actors, producers and technicians—everyone involved in international filmmaking—want him to know that he has their support and friendship.
On September 16th, 2009, Mr. Charles Rivkin, the US Ambassador to France, received French artists and intellectuals at the embassy. He presented to them the new Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the embassy, Ms Judith Baroody. In perfect French she lauded the Franco-American friendship and recommended the development of cultural relations between our two countries.
If only in the name of this friendship between our two countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski.
Polanski petition signatories, as of September 29th:
Luc et Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Rosalinde et Michel Deville
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Wong Kar Waï
Betrand Van Effenterre
"A case of morals"
First of all, the obvious conclusion is that this group of French, American and other film-makers have no concern for the fact that Polanski pled guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl then fled the US to escape incarceration. It is part and parcel of the coursening of western culture and the idea that children can be sexually exploited.
Secondly, it appears these people think that international film festivals are some sort of sanctuary from the law. How dare they arrest this great director en route to a film festival!
If this arrest puts the relationship between France and the US at risk then so be it. France has shown repeatedly ever since the end of World War II that they are a nation of ingrates who scorn the US and our "out of date values". If this fragile relationship should collapse over a convicted child rapist who happens to be a French citizen, who cares?
There is only one standard being used by these film makers: Polanski is a great film maker, a great artist; thus, leave him alone. It reminds me in a way of the mentality that allowed OJ Simpson to be acquitted of murder charges: "He's 'the Juice", "He's one of us", ect, etc.
I don't know the names of the great majority of these characters, though I do note the presence of Woody Allen on the list (how ironic). Yet, it seems to me that people who think like me might want to seriously consider spending their money in places other than the movie theatre. For too many years now, we have been outraged by the antics and loopy statements coming from Hollywood elites who think they should tell us ordinary folks how to live.
In the coming days, weeks and perhaps months, we shall see how many other segments of French society will rise in defense of the child-rapist Polanski. Will President Sarkozy and/or his foreign minister attempt to intervene with President Obama and our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as with Swiss authorities? If so, then its time to stop buying French products again and make the Parisiennes wonder where all the American tourists went.