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Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

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Yes, his mother perished in the Holocaust. Yes, his wife was murdered by the Manson gang. Yes, even the straight-arrow prosecuting attorney agrees that the judge in his sex-with-a-minor case was a headline-hungry glory hound and a serial liar. Yes, that minor seems to have had some sex previous to the European movie director. And yes, the media behaved throughout with a frenzy that would shame a shark. But none of this, spelled out in painful primer style in Marina Zenovich’s sympathetic documentary, excuses Roman Polanski for feeding Champagne and quaaludes to a 13-year-old girl to get her into his bed. Nor are Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist arguments in his favor, unless we just give get-out-of-jail-free cards to every passing wizard who dazzles us with magic movies. He claims here to have been influenced early on by Snow White. I should have thought Peter Pan instead.

HBO
Monday, June 9, 9 p.m.


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