the limits of my francophilia

Roman Polanski, who in his life has made some damn fine films (irrelevant), was arrested in Switzerland this weekend and is awaiting extradition to California on account of charges he pled guilty to over 30 years ago before fleeing the country to avoid sentencing.

The crime in question involved drugging and raping a 13-year old girl. But really, the girl's age is really rather beside the point, isn't it? The point is that he raped her. It would be no less infuriating if she had been 23 or 33 at the time.

And yet...the reactions on the other side of the pond I keep hearing fall along the lines of "it's a shame they've arrested such a great artist," and "really, this isn't that big of a deal."

Look, I love Chinatown as much as the next guy. And I also thing that America's collective hangups about the sexuality of teenagers are fair game for criticism, if not outright ridicule. But if the belief that fucking someone (anyone!) in the ass (or anywhere else!) without their permission ought to be a crime for which one is vigorously prosecuted makes me a bourgeois puritan, then I guess I'm a bourgeois puritan, after all.


Dave said...

I agree...I've found this whole thing to be quite bizarre. He plead *guilty* in the 1970s and then jumped bail. I guess that I'm surprised why its taken so long for him to be arrested (as he is a convicted felon). The apparent European response has been that as a "great artist", his continued freedom outweighs his felon status. Weird.

Gino said...

i was struggling with the words...

i may link to this.

but, i want to add, her being 13, and totally naive, just triples and then some, the severity.

the euroes have issues. no doubt.

chris said...

I fail to understand how serving his sentence will diminish his artistic skill. If anything, it should give him more credibility as an artist if hip-hop culture is used as a litmus test.

Gino said...

is yer readership up? :)