Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The events of 1977 and 1978 permanently marred director Roman Polanski's life. Accused of unlawful sexual assault on minor Samantha Geimer during his stay at actor Jack Nicholson's house in March of 1977, Polanski wound up in the midst of controversial judicial proceedings that many read as supremely unfair. After being temporarily sprung on 2,500 dollars bail, Polanski then fled the United States for Europe in 1978, with the threat of incarceration hanging over him should he ever return. With her documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, filmmaker Marina Zenovich revisits this difficult case via extensive interviews with Geimer, defense attorney Douglas Dalton, Assistant DA Roger Gunson, and others. In the process, she raises pivotal questions about the U.S. legal system and the fairness of the judge, Laurence J. Rittenband (who was reportedly extremely vocal about his desire to topple Polanski) and encounters many recollections of judicial malfeasance from those who were involved.
film-director, legal-system, statutory-rape