Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nina Burleigh: Genius and Young Flesh

I am sure by now that you have heard that Roman Polanski was apprehended in Zurich because of a long-running US extradition order for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

News that "film industry luminaries" have launched a petition to release him because the arrest "could have disastrous consequences for freedom of expression across the world" is a little hard for me to take seriously.

Huffingting Post's Nina Burleigh posted an article today that supports my feelings.
"In the end, that is precisely why the arrest of Roman Polanski is a good idea, and should stand. It doesn't matter whether he is a genius... (w)hat matters is that the rape of a 13-year old girl, in a nation of laws, in a nation where women are striving for equality with men, in world where we are hundreds of years away from that right and good goal, be discouraged, by example if necessary."

Sure Polanski is a genius and The Pianist is a great film. And ooooooook, it was the 70's. But that is completely irrelevant. What an opportunity for Polanski to face the accusation, speak out against violence against women and try to make some positive actions that might just discourage some people from violent behiavour?

The same sentiment is shared by Kate Harding from Jezebel, posted today:
"(A)pparently what this is about, in the minds of all these great artistes: Philistinism. A failure to appreciate A) Polanski's genius and B) the sanctity of international film festivals."
It's pretty shocking that so many well know people would hope on board this petition, under the guise of censorship ESPECIALLY after what happened to Rihana. Remember the outpouring of support for her? And the denouncing of Chris Brown? Guess he's not "genius" enough?
"Of course, many of the celebs standing up for Polanski are people of Los Angeles County. Let's just hope the authorities remember that although those might be the loudest ones, they're hardly the only ones. And the public interest is, in fact, better served by punishing people who rape children and flee the country than it is by bowing to famous and powerful people who somehow believe that really good films make up for felonies — or that living, traveling, and working openly in your chosen profession for 30 years, just on a different continent, is "punishment enough." (But the poor man was always looking over his shoulder! Yes, because he was a fugitive child rapist. Do you see how it always ends up there?)"
Well said.

UPDATE: Read this article as well!

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