Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Polanski and L.A.: Justice is not Revenge


PolanskiIFFKV.jpg‎ (637 × 600 pixels, file size: 35 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) 
Image: Thanks to Wikipedia

My final thoughts on the arrest of Roman Polanski:

In a word, the Polanski arrest is a case of revenge. Not revenge by the alleged victim of a crime, a girl who is now a mother who has settled with the director and forgiven him, a woman who wants the case to end.  It is not the revenge of a court that obviously mishandled the case with a plea settlement that was never finally signed. Renewing the case only exposes the bungling of the judge and prosecutor in 1977.
No, this is the revenge of the city of Los Angeles upon an artist who exposed the corruption and the horrors involved in the growth of L.A. in the 1930s. Chinatown, Polanski's masterpiece, revealed in graphic detail how a city can be built on the backs of the innocent, how the most vile city leaders took L.A. to the water. It was a visionary film not only about the evil of power and greed in the growth of L.A., but about the war for water that is only just taking shape in our present century. The central metaphor of the film, that the crime in Chinatown is but a tiny embodiment of the bigger crimes that are universal, shows what is happening today with this arrest. Roman Polanski's arrest and continued incarceration expose another facet of  the spitefulness of the self-righteous. Dredging up this sad case harms those who were harmed in the past and benefits absolutely no one.

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