Roman Polanski's An Officer and a Spy receives 12 nominations at 45th César Awards, evokes mass outrage
Roman Polanski's An Officer and a Spy also bagged the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival last September.
The Polish-French filmmaker, who was found guilty of statutory rape in 1977, had eloped from the US after the conviction. Polanski has also faced multiple accusations of sexual assault since the time.
After An Officer and a Spy swept the nominations this year, head of the Césars, Alain Terzian, has issued a public statement claiming the awards body could not possibly take a stand on moral grounds while distributing accolades.
The BBC report, however, carries a statement by Céline Piques, spokeswoman for French feminist organisation Osez le Féminisme (Dare to be Feminist), which she made to French TV channel LCI.
She says, "The 400 cinema professionals who voted for this nomination have applauded Polanski with 12 nominations — 12 is also the number of women today who accuse Roman Polanski of rape. This is not the field of morality, this is the field of justice."
Polanski's film bagged the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival last September. But within two months, former French actress Valentine Monnier claimed Polanksi was "extremely violent" with her in 1975, (when she was 18), and also raped her. Her claims were yet another addition to the series of complaints against the filmmaker.
Polanski’s lawyer, Herve Temime, had said the 86-year-old Polanski “firmly contests” the allegation.
Temime “deplored” in his response to French newspaper Le Parisien that the claim is being made public shortly before Polanski’s latest film, J’Accuse (An Officer and a Spy) is being released in France. Monnier told Le Parisien it was the film that triggered her decision to go public, saying “rape is a time bomb.”
The paper also said she had previously written letters to the Los Angeles police, French first lady Brigitte Macron, and others. One of several who responded was Marlene Schiappa, junior minister for gender equality, who noted the case was too old for judicial action.
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