Whatever the time frame, sexual assault is without question hateful, criminal and tragic. Who isn’t repelled by the import of various allegations that Roman Polanski behaved abominably with certain younger women? True, Polanski has denied the recent rape allegation shared by Valentine Monnier, and he is apparently considering suing Le Parisien for publishing her allegation. But there have been other similar assertions, as we all know.
There’s no way to argue that the women who protested against last night’s Paris opening of Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy (aka J’accuse) are emotionally in the wrong. But at the same time it is wrong to try and censor or suppress art.
We’re talking about two separate realms here — that of Polanski the artist vs. the flawed and conflicted Polanski who’s allegedly brought trauma and harm to certain women. History tells us that many noteworthy artists have been, more often than not, intemperate and unruly in their emotional relationships.. Hurt people hurt people, and I wish it were otherwise. But great or formidable cinema should never be fucked with…ever.