My first reaction to hearing about Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, Laurent Bouzereau‘s documentary about the filmmaker recalling aspects of his life during his house arrest in Gstaad two years ago, was “why did Polanski sit down with Bouzereau instead of Marina Zenovich, whose exacting and persuasive Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired doc surely earned her Polanski’s allegiance?”
My second reaction was to search for reviews of Bouzereau’s doc, which screened last night at the Zurich Film Festival with Polanski in attendance. Others besides The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Roxborough may have watched the film and filed a review, but I could only find his.
The key quote from the doc is Polanski describing Samantha Geimer, the now-middle-aged woman whom he sexually assaulted in 1977 when she was 13, as “a double victim — my victim and a victim of the press.” Otherwise the doc “offers little new information not already in the public record,” Roxborough reports.
“The Greimer case takes up only a small portion of the film. The bulk is dedicated to Polanski’s childhood in German-occupied Poland, including his escape from the Warsaw ghetto and his early life and career.
“If there are any surprises to be had in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, they may be for people expecting a monster to see instead a human being, thoughtful, eloquent and emotional as he reflects on what, by any accounts, has been an extraordinary life.”