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Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

An engrossing documentary of the filmmaker's celebrity trial
By GERALD PEARY  |  July 16, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars

Filmmaker Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) suffered a Holocaust childhood, his parents murdered by the Nazis, and then a second tragedy when his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was killed by the Manson gang. Does all this trauma justify his sexual behavior afterward, his obsessive bedding down of underaged girls? A 1977 afternoon of drugs and intercourse with a 13-year-old led to his arrest in California, and to his celebrity trial, the subject of Marina Zenovich’s engrossing HBO tabloid documentary. Highlights includes Zenovich’s sitdowns with the attorneys for the prosecution and the defense, both still formidable presences, and her talk with Samantha Gailey, Polanski’s 13-year-old victim, now a smart-thinking mother in her 40s. As for Polanski, he fled America at the end of the trial and settled in Paris, where, it seems, nobody cares about his creepy predator past. As a Parisian sophisticate notes, “He’s desired in France, wanted in America.” 99 Minutes | Coolidge Corner

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  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Movies, Roman Polanski,  More more >
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