Roman Polanski Wanted And Desired Marina Zenovich

Roman Polanski Wanted And Desired Marina Zenovich
Given the fact that he's easily one of the best and most important directors of his generation, it's a shame that Roman Polanski is primarily remembered for the underage sex scandal that caused him to flee America. Granted, having sex with a 13-year-old girl is not admirable and it's easy to see why people can't let it go. But that doesn't change the fact that the man is a genius, a perverted genius but a genius nonetheless. Still, you can't help but be fascinated by the scandalous court case and Marina Zenovich's wonderful new documentary provides the most thorough examination of the infamous trial yet. Director Zenovich takes a rather unconventional approach to the material by taking Polanski's side. She presents the court case as being a media blitz that was unfairly orchestrated by a fame-hungry judge. Instead of the standard tale of a perverted director fleeing the country to avoid serving time for a crime he admittedly committed, we see Polanski willing accepting prison time and psychological evaluations he didn't deserve as an out of control judge delivers verdicts specifically designed to grab headlines. When Polanski left it was because he had reason to believe he would be sent away for life unfairly, and the judge was disbarred before an official verdict was even delivered. It's a fascinating story and not one that can be written off as a conspiracy theory. Though Polanski understandably declined to be involved, and judge Laurence J. Rittenband is dead, Zenovich was able to uncover some amazing archival footage and scored revealing interviews with both the prosecuting and defence attorney, as well as Polanski's underage sex partner (who for the record, admitted their relationship was consensual and even pleaded for Polanski to be denied a prison sentence at the time). It's a fascinating documentary that deserves to be seen by anyone with even a passing interest in the court case or Polanski. The documentary features a commentary from Zenovich and a variety of deleted interviews, none of which add much to the experience. Admittedly, a DVD-exclusive interview with Polanski would have been nice but everything that needed to be said is in the documentary, and it's an excellent little film. (E1)