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Sarah Polley on ‘Baron Munchausen’ Criterion Release: ‘You Have My Permission to Still Love This Movie’

Polley, who starred in the film as a child, recently spoke out about director Terry Gilliam's lack of concern for her safety on set.

"The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"

“The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”

©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

For a film that was released in 1988, “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” has had a surprisingly large presence in recent film discourse.

Sarah Polley, who starred in the movie as a child, has accused Terry Gilliam of creating unsafe conditions on the film’s set. In her recent memoir “Run Towards the Danger,” she described the director as “erratic” and claimed he made her do multiple takes of dangerous scenes involving pyrotechnics without any regard for her safety.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, it was recently announced that the film is being added to the Criterion Collection in January. One might think that Polley would object to the film receiving such a prestigious honor, but she isn’t bothered by it at all. The “Women Talking” director took to Twitter on Saturday to defend the film on artistic grounds.

“I have seen some discussion about whether or not people can still like this movie after hearing about my horrible experiences working on it as a child,” Polley wrote. “You may not be asking for it or care – but you have my unconditional permission to still love this movie.”

She added: “Yes, it was traumatic for me. Yes, it should have been handled very differently. Yes, it is still a great movie. The joy that comes from it is the joy I am able to carry with me as well as the terrible memories. So go nuts. Enjoy it. You have my blessing.”

Polley’s tweets echo similar comments she recently made to IndieWire’s Eric Kohn, where she said that her disappointing experiences working with Gilliam haven’t dampened her enthusiasm for his artistic output.

“I love Terry Gilliam movies,” she said. “I refuse to think of him as a monster. I don’t think he is. I think he screwed up a lot of stuff, and he hasn’t taken responsibility for it, and that sucks. But he also had great qualities and made beautiful work. I just feel like I’m interested in having a conversation with him and hearing his perspective on what he saw. I would hope that he’d listen to mine.”

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