Tonight I saw Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, a documentary by Marina Zenovich.
Thank goodness someone finally created a coherent timeline that is the mess of Polanski's life, because in all of my years I've never quite grasped what happened to him.
After seeing this, three things I suspected were confirmed:
1) Roman should be celebrated for the artistic genius that he is.
2) Roman should've undoubtedly been punished for the crime he clearly committed.
3) There was no way in hell Roman was going to get a fair sentence in the California courts with the corrupt judge that was assigned to his case.
If I'm correct in my assumption, Roman was just a typical party-scene Hollywood filmmaker in the 60s that loved his life and loved his wife until she was brutally murdered by a crazy man's cult.
Once Sharon was gone, his world seemed to tailspin, as often happens in times of desperate grief, and to endure the pain of the press crucifying him for having a hand in her murder (when really he was out of the country at the time and had nothing to do with it), he sought refuge in women, drugs and distractions.
One of the casualties of this distraction was Samantha, a California girl wanting to break into the business at the age of 13. They were alone, he was photographing her, clothes came off, drugs were ingested, sex resulted.
His actions were reprehensible. Inexcusable without question, but the way the system handled his case was also unfair. When the attorneys on both sides cry foul, you know something's wrong.
It could be argued that despite justice not being served, Polanski made the right decision deporting himself to France before his final sentencing. Assuming he's done no one else harm, he's certainly been more productive as a cinematic genius than he ever could have been eating up American taxpayers' money, rotting behind bars. Even his accuser didn't want that, and shouldn't she have a say in the matter?
I can't help but wonder what would've happened if he'd taken the offer to come back to the U.S. and had the case heard by a new judge.