Roman Polanski wins Best Director at Cesars, prompting walkout protest

Roman Polanski solid a shadow over France’s Cesar Awards on Friday whilst he gained Best Director for his movie An Officer and A Spy, with a number of ladies within the viewers strolling out in protest at honouring a person dealing with rape accusations.

The French-Polish director’s dozen nominations had divided opinion in France, a rustic the place the #MeToo motion that impressed ladies globally to out highly effective males for sexual misconduct has struggled to realize traction.

Polanski, 86, whose movie additionally picked up awards for greatest adaptation and greatest costume designer, stayed away from the occasion, saying he feared he can be lynched.

Controversy had swirled across the inclusion within the awards program of Polanski, who fled the United States for France within the late 1970s after admitting raping a 13-year-old lady, and faces newer allegations of sexual assault.

Polanski denies the most recent accusations towards him.

During the ceremony, the most important night time on the French cinema calendar, Polanski served as each lightning rod and punch line, with the ceremony’s host quipping about paedophilia.

It is the final (occasion) of 1 period and the primary of one other, actress Sandrine Kiberlain stated.

Among those that left the venue early was main actress Adele Haenel, who final 12 months revealed she had been sexually abused as a baby by one other director.

Haenel informed the New York Times earlier than the ceremony that France had missed the boat on #MeToo and criticized the Cesar Awards for recognising Polanski.

Distinguishing Polanski is spitting within the face of all victims. It means raping ladies isn’t that unhealthy, she stated.

Protesters exterior clashed with police shortly earlier than the most important names in French movie arrived at the Pleynel live performance corridor, however none made it onto the purple carpet. Nearby, different protesters peacefully waved placards studying Shame on an trade that protects rapists.


An Officer and A Spy chronicles the persecution of French Jewish military officer Alfred Dreyfus within the 1890s. It misplaced out on greatest movie to Les Miserables.

Polanski himself survived the Holocaust, whereas his mom died in a Nazi focus camp. He shot to fame within the United States together with his 1968 Hollywood movie Rosemary’s Baby.

Polanski’s solid and manufacturing crew boycotted the Cesars on Friday after Culture Minister Franck Riester stated the success of a director accused of sexual violence would ship the mistaken sign within the #MeToo period.

French photographer Valentine Monnier final 12 months accused Polanski of raping her in 1975 when she was an 18-year-old mannequin and actress. Polanski has denied the cost.

It is the second time in 5 months that recognition of Polanski, who was expelled final 12 months from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – which bestows the Oscars – has prompted disquiet.

Organisers of the Venice Film Festival drew criticism for together with Polanski’s work in this system. It went on to take the pageant’s Silver Lion Grand Jury in September.

The French awards are available in the identical week that Harvey Weinstein, as soon as considered one of Hollywood’s most influential producers, was convicted of sexual assault and rape by a New York court docket.

Several male actors tiptoed rigorously across the topic of Polanski on Friday night time.

I hope that we are going to all the time have the ability to proceed taking part in the sport of seduction with one another in cinema and in actual life. There, I made it, I offended nobody, stated actor and director Mathieu Kassovitz.

Critics of the #MeToo motion in France say it’s puritanical and fueled by a hatred of males.

Ahead of the Cesars, former French movie star Brigitte Bardot rallied assist for Polanski.

“We should be thankful that Polanski is alive and saving French cinema from mediocrity, Bardot said on Twitter. I judge him by his talent, not his private life.”

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