Polanski retrospective sparks protest in Paris
PARIS (AP) — French feminist groups on Monday staged a protest against a retrospective honoring director Roman Polanski at film institute La Cinematheque Francaise.
A few dozen protesters gathered near the Paris institute as the event was starting Monday night, booing as Polanski attended the opening.
Two members of the Femen activist group went topless near Polanski inside the film institute, shouting “no honor for rapists.” They were quickly taken outside by security staff, where they continued to protest.
La Cinematheque Francaise maintained its program despite criticism in the wake of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
The institute said its role was not to moralize. Polish-born Polanski in the 1970s pleaded guilty to having sex in the U.S. with a 13-year-old girl, whom he plied with champagne and Quaaludes.
Since Polanski fled the U.S., he has mostly lived in Paris.
Director of “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby”, he won the Academy Award for best director for “The Pianist” in 2003.
An online petition calling on the institute to cancel the retrospective, calling it “an insult to all women” mobilized under the #MeToo banner, was signed by more than 27,000 people Monday.
The Osez le feminisme! (Dare Feminism!) activist group called on the government to stop supporting the head of the film institute, which is financed by the French state and private sponsors.