Polanski wins best director at Cesars, prompting walkout protest

PARIS (Reuters) – Roman Polanski forged a shadow over France’s Cesar Awards on Friday at the same time as he received very best directing for his movie “An Officer and a Spy,” with a number of girls within the target audience strolling out in protest at honoring a person dealing with rape accusations.

FILE PHOTO: Film director Roman Polanski arrives on the Madeleine Church in Paris, France, December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The French-Polish director’s dozen nominations had divided opinion in France, a rustic the place the #MeToo motion that impressed girls globally to out tough males for sexual misconduct has struggled to realize traction.

Polanski, 86, whose movie additionally picked up awards for very best adaptation and very best dress dressmaker, stayed clear of the development, pronouncing he feared he can be lynched.

Controversy had swirled across the inclusion within the awards program of Polanski, who fled the United States for France within the past due 1970s after admitting raping a 13-year-old lady, and faces newer allegations of sexual attack.

Polanski denies the newest accusations in opposition to him.

During the rite, the most important evening at the French cinema calendar, Polanski served as each lightning rod and punch line, with the rite’s host quipping about paedophilia.

“It is the ultimate (match) of 1 generation and the primary of any other,” actress Sandrine Kiberlain stated.

Among those that left the venue early was once main actress Adele Haenel, who ultimate yr published she have been sexually abused as a kid via any other director.

Haenel informed the New York Times ahead of the rite that France had “overlooked the boat” on #MeToo and criticized the Cesar Awards for spotting Polanski.

“Distinguishing Polanski is spitting within the face of all sufferers. It approach raping girls isn’t that dangerous,” she stated.

Protesters out of doors clashed with police in a while ahead of the most important names in French movie arrived on the Pleynel live performance corridor, however none made it onto the crimson carpet. Nearby, different protesters peacefully waved placards studying “Shame on an business that protects rapists.”


“An Officer and a Spy” chronicles the persecution of French Jewish military officer Alfred Dreyfus within the 1890s. It misplaced out on very best movie to “Les Miserables”.

Polanski himself survived the Holocaust, whilst his mom died in a Nazi focus camp. He shot to reputation within the United States together with his 1968 Hollywood movie “Rosemary’s Baby.”

Polanski’s forged and manufacturing crew boycotted the Cesars on Friday after Culture Minister Franck Riester stated the good fortune of a director accused of sexual violence would ship the improper sign within the #MeToo generation.

French photographer Valentine Monnier ultimate yr accused Polanski of raping her in 1975 when she was once an 18-year-old style and actress. Polanski has denied the fee.

It is the second one time in 5 months that popularity of Polanski, who was once expelled ultimate yr from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – which bestows the Oscars – has precipitated disquiet.

Organisers of the Venice Film Festival drew complaint for together with Polanski’s paintings in this system. It went directly to take the pageant’s Silver Lion Grand Jury in September.

The French awards are available in the similar week that Harvey Weinstein, as soon as one in all Hollywood’s maximum influential manufacturers, was once convicted of sexual attack and rape via a New York courtroom.

Several male actors tiptoed sparsely across the topic of Polanski on Friday evening.

“I am hoping that we can at all times have the ability to proceed enjoying the sport of seduction with each and every different in cinema and in actual existence. There, I made it, I indignant no person,” stated actor and director Mathieu Kassovitz.

Critics of the #MeToo motion in France say it’s puritanical and fueled via a hated of guys.

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Ahead of the Cesars, former French movie big name Brigitte Bardot rallied reinforce for Polanski.

“We must be grateful that Polanski is alive and saving French cinema from mediocrity,” Bardot stated on Twitter. “I pass judgement on him via his skill, now not his personal existence.”

Reporting via Richard Lough and Elizabeth Pineau; Editing via Leslie Adler

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