Scandal over Polanski's César
Despite Roman Polanski's conviction for rape, he was awarded a César as best director on Friday. Several women, including actress Adèle Haenel, who had revived the MeToo debate in France in 2019, left the ceremony in disgust. Polanski himself did not show up. French media criticise both the award and the protest.
A dreadful decision
The César Academy erred in giving Polanski himself an award, film critic Jean-Michel Frodon complains in Slate:
“This is the worst possible decision by the voters in the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma. By giving the award to Roman Polanski instead of the film An Officer and a Spy, they are bolstering a man accused of several crimes and convicted of one of them. ... An Officer and a Spy never raped anyone. One can certainly debate whether or not to give a film an award based on its qualities - which, however, have been completely overlooked here. ... It's dreadful that the 4,313 voting members chose to not to recognise the film but rather the person, Roman Polanski.”
Le Figaro can't take any pleasure from the angry protests:
“Wouldn't it have made more sense if these people hadn't shown up at all, since they condemned the film's nomination, its existence and its distribution? What strange behaviour, to play along when you like the results and cry foul when you don't. It's exactly this kind of thinking that makes some criticise democracy as illegitimate and try to overthrow it - of course, always with the best interests of the world and the people in mind. Women are right to defend their dignity and their place in society. Some do this with a particularly remarkable intelligence. ... These women don't turn their resentment into their creed, they don't harbour hatred of the past, and their judgement is based on intellectual integrity.”