Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (Marina Zenovich) 2008

Wanted and Desired is a documentary about the scandal involving Roman Polanski’s rape case and his subsequent flight from the US. Polanski had consensual sex (or so it is claimed) with a 13 year old girl during a photo shoot where the girl later told the police. Polanski was caught in the middle of a media and court circus with an incompetent star struck judge as the headmaster. What many people may not know is that Polanski plead guilty to the charge of sex with a minor and was going forward with sentencing. The judge was actually issuing illegal orders and grandstanding in front of the cameras (which ultimately resulted in BOTH the defense attorney and the DA in petitioning for his removal). All of the pretrial screenings asked for probation and to both of the lawyers that seemed to be the result they wanted. The judge was looking to be punitive and was going to sentence Polanski to prison time (the sentence could have been as high as 50 years). The judge did not bar Polanski from traveling and he took the opportunity to take a gig working for schlock producer Dino De Laurentis and leaving for Paris.

It is very clear what agenda the maker of this movie has. After watching this movie I can tell you I really don’t know what to make of this anymore. True, Polanski got screwed when it came to his judge and might have gotten a prison sentence. But his lawyer was very competent and got him removed from the case and I have no doubt he would have gotten the sentence reduced to probation or time served given the opportunity. And let’s also not lose sight of the ultimate issue that being he HAD SEX WITH A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL! He knew she was 13 (this was not a case where it was a 17 year old claiming to be older and it was some big mistake), he knew what he was getting into, and he did it anyway. He broke the law, and he didn’t stick around and face the consequences. It is hard for me to weep for a guy who has spent the majority of his life in Paris with his wife and kids, is still considered a genius filmmaker (and has even won an Academy Award), has millions of dollars and millions of adoring fans. Really, I just want the matter resolved. Everyone of the parties, victim included, would rather the issue had been settled 30 years ago.

The movie itself is okay. Wanted and Desired is very comprehensive and covers all the bases. I don’t know if I needed the movie to be as long as it did but many documentaries have the problem of being long winded. Even though I am a big movie fan, I was not that interested in this subject to begin with. This movie is alright, but I won’t be watching it again anytime soon.


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