April 4, 2010

The Polanski Files

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In the coming days, Switzerland will decide if they will give up Academy Award winner, Roman Polanski. Polanski, 76, fled California after allegedly having sexual relations with a 13 year-old girl in 1978. Since then, the director has continued to make movies, win countless awards, and even receive lifetime achievement awards. Should the Swiss decide to extradite him back to the United States, the trial may be reviewed at Polanski’s request. The now deceased Judge Rittenband, in charge of the case when it originally took place, has come under fire for improper conduct.

Roman Polanski

While Polanski’s crime is an old one, it’s severe. It raises questions as to whether or not the general public can separate a rare talent from the persona with which it is associated. But the answer is simply – the public isn’t really sure. In the wake of death, sickness, or celebrity “retirement”, the world mourns talents that are lost, rather than the scandals that often surround these individuals. Polanski is no exception. It really doesn’t matter if Polanski is guilty or not – we (as a public) don’t care.

But should we? Polanski is one thing – a film maker. He isn’t one to be ordained by the moral high-grounders of society simply because he is famous. Polanski does what he does best, and cranks out hit films for his viewership. Sure, the crime is pretty heinous, and if he is found guilty (if the case is tried), so be it – as long as his body of work isn’t judged accordingly.

Perhaps it’s true what they say? Geniuses are pretty big freaks.

In an interesting twist, Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered in 1969 by members of the Manson Family

Original Author: Samantha Hartzband