AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


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THE WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE TENTH ANNIVERSARY AWARDS CEREMONY 2014 BROADCAST

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6/17/08

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Roman Polanski will always be remembered for the excitement in his life, the tragedy with the murder of his first wife Sharon Tate and the law case brought against him for having sex with a minor.. it is the latter upon which this documentary is based.

Commentary:
Roman Polanski, writer, producer, actor, director of the most famous, most watched films of the century, rosemary's baby, repulsion,to name just a few. A giant in the film industry for whom one feels the ravages of the assault on his character by the law enforcement agencies. The disgust, the condemnation of an intellectual/artistic genius trickles down into the minds and gossip mongrels par excellent.

And where do we stand on this issue?

I find it interesting that the every woman I know, when asked, confesses to having experienced at least one sexual encounter with a man, often a step father, or uncle, while they were young children. And yet so very few men ever get exposed or punished. This humiliating experienced seeems to be reversed for the few who enjoy high name recognition.


For-instance Woody Allen, another giant in the film industry, who married his seemingly too young lover and adopted daughter. For Roman Polanski his sexual interaction with a minor, not a relative, is still an issue all these many years later.

Here we are watching his story unfold recaptured in the documentary that brings those times and those issues into clear view. Roman was so attractive, with such intense sexuality and charisma that I don't doubt for a moment he thought he had done nothing wrong by seducing this one more attractive and very available woman.

For this master of the chase after women (always more women to conquer) this legal battle is not the personification of his illness but of the sickness that reigns in our country.

Yes, it is the rare man who hasn’t sought a woman for her body, knowing full well that she would never be his sustained love relationship/interest in life. This is applauded in our society and yet the woman who gives into the man, who is overcome by his cunning, his effort to seduce is considered “undesirable”. The caveat of "what is her age" is a thin limit on the prowler rarely discovered but when it is. watch out. The wrath of God or more correctly the wrath of the sexual world of which we are all a part, lands upon the man. He is labeled a pedophiliac and sought after forever and ever.

How far have we come from this restrictive and prejudicial stance the double standard. As one watches the film is there a feeling of disgust for Roman Polanski or horror at how he is being treated or both?

I recommend everyone see this film, embrace our individual feelings about his alleged Pedophilia and the ills of our society. This is a chance to see life through the behavior of a not too hungry man but a man so separated from the humble pie we all eat that he couldn't have imagine the consequences of yet another conquest.

The victim was a thirteen year old girl physically going on twenty-one and where were her parents, her protective shields. Did they not know her maturity was a problem? Did they not work with her, give her the fundamental knowledge to adjust normally to her premature physical development?

This is not a defense of Roman Polanski. It is a review of the documentary now being shown.. But since the two seem so forcefully linked, the review of the production and the subject matter, my stance, my reaction to the subject becomes a testimony to the strength of the documentary.

A must see moment from the past that informs forcefully on the present.

See it, if you can.


Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective
RT: Witches Brew

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