Summit Entertainment via Everett Collection
Director Roman Polanski has reportedly appealed to Polish authorities to grant him permission to return to his native country to make a movie without the threat of extradition to the U.S., where he remains a fugitive on sex charges dating back to the 1970s.
The reclusive Chinatown filmmaker fled America for Europe more than 30 years ago on the eve of his sentencing for having unlawful sex with a minor, to which he had pleaded guilty. He has lived in France for the past few decades, but his freedom was threatened in 2009 when he was arrested in Switzerland and threatened with extradition back to the U.S. He was eventually released and allowed to return to France.
Now Polanski is seeking a special pardon from Polish officials, who have an extradition treaty in place with the U.S., to protect him from any legal action so that he can shoot a prospective new film about 19th century French army officer Alfred Dreyfus in the country.
His Polish lawyer, Jerzy Stachowicz, tells Reuters, “Roman Polanski is considering filming in Poland about (sic) the Dreyfus Affair.”
His producer pal Robert Benmussa reveals an official decision about the project has yet to be made, adding, “We have to be sure that filming will not be interrupted for legal reasons.”
Dreyfus, an artillery officer of Jewish heritage, was convicted of treason in 1894, but his case caused an uproar among members of the French society amid allegations of anti-Semitism, and he was subsequently exonerated.