Charles Lyons profiles an upcoming documentary from Marina Zenovich, for the New York Times. No stranger to documentaries about artists, Zenovich’s new project will shed some light on the infamous Roman Polanski case of 30 years ago, when the acclaimed filmmaker was prosecuted for charges of statutory rape. Polanski, who still lives in exile overseas, did not participate in the documentary, but many people did (including the girl with whom he had sex). The Polanski case is one of the most incendiary moments in Hollywood history, so a documentary film about it will likely be a hot property for industry audiences. From Lyons’ article:
“I’ve never set out to diminish the seriousness of what Polanski did, but it comes down to crime and punishment,” [Zenovich] explained. “How much do you have to pay for the crime? What I’ve always set out to prove is, despite what Polanski did, which was awful, he was treated unfairly by the judge. That’s the bottom line.”
Convinced that even reasonably well informed people do not completely understand the Polanski case, Ms. Zenovich pursued a doggedly reportorial course, undeterred by Mr. Polanski’s refusal to participate. (A spokesperson for Mr. Polanski confirmed that he has no involvement with the documentary.) She conducted on-camera interviews with nearly 100 people, including Samantha Geimer, the girl, now in her 40’s, with whom Mr. Polanski had sex and who has publicly forgiven him. Other interview subjects included figures connected with the director’s film career, among them Mia Farrow, Nastassja Kinski, Robert Evans and Robert Towne.