Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Face the music

I've read all about the crime, the circumstances, the flight, the forgiveness, and the capture. I saw the documentary. I question the fairness and impartiality of justice then and now. But I also wonder if the politicians and artists who have leapt to his defense have really thought about it, just as I wish the knee-jerk hang 'em high brigade would give it greater consideration. So let's have it out. It's time for Roman Polanski--a great filmmaker, but as fallible, and as liable for our actions, as the rest of us--to face justice.

For all his trademark bluster and patented pot-stirring, Hollywood Elsewhere columnist Jeffrey Wells has done a good (if typically hysterical) job laying out his opinion, which is shared by others. To wit:

"I also said that Polanski (a) has suffered more than half his adult life in terms of his career and income having been limited and because he's been psychologically living as a fugitive, exactly as he did as a child during World War II, (b) it should be over and done with due to the victim having pleaded with everyone to please drop it, (c) it's a discredited case due to a lack of prosecutorial honor and an element of corruption, and (d) that the LA D.A. pushed for his arrest in order to focus attention to his office and to address the long-slumbering issues brought to the fore by Marina Zenovich's documentary -- i.e., it's partly an attention-getting p.r. move and partly a way of responding to the doc."

But to rebut:

A) Nonsense. He's done just fine career-wise and I can't imagine he's had to rattle a tin cup for work. He won an Oscar, deservedly, while a fugitive.

B) True--but which matters more, the victim or the crime? It's a mitigating circumstance, one that would be edifying to see played out.

C and D are elements of the case that can be brought up in a court of law. It's shabby, it's sordid, it'll take months if not years to sort out. But the time has come to reckon with it.

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