Anne Applebaum of Washington Post
| He can be blamed, it is true, for his original, panicky decision to flee. But for this decision I see mitigating circumstances, not least an understandable fear of irrational punishment. Polanski's mother died in Auschwitz. His father survived Mauthausen. He himself survived the Krakow ghetto, and later emigrated from communist Poland. His pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered in 1969 by the followers of Charles Manson, though for a time Polanski himself was a suspect. |
I am certain there are many who will harrumph that, following this arrest, justice was done at last. But Polanski is 76. To put him on trial or keep him in jail does not serve society in general or his victim in particular. Nor does it prove the doggedness and earnestness of the American legal system. If he weren't famous, I bet no one would bother with him at all.
John Farr at Huffington Post.
| Confronting these developments, we must affirm the law's the law, right? And what Polanski reputedly did with a 13-year-old girl all those years ago was unquestionably the act of a sick individual. |
But the story of what Polanski suffered even before the unspeakable trauma of having his pregnant wife Sharon Tate butchered in the spooky twilight of the turbulent Sixties makes me believe that overall, he's as much victim as predator himself.
Can you imagine living in the Krakow ghetto during the Nazi Occupation, and at the tender age of ten watching both your parents shuttled off to concentration camps, only to have your mother die in one?
These horrors by no means excuse his crime, but they are mitigating factors, are they not?
This new arrest also smacks of a sneak attack on the now 76-year-old director, who's been remarried to actress Emmanuelle Seigner for two decades. (He's probably reformed by now , don't you think?)
And unless there's something we don't yet know -- for instance, that he actually wanted to be arrested to gain some sort of late-life expiation of his past sins -- then it's clear he thought he was safe going to Switzerland to accept that award.
Joan Z. Shore(Co-founder, Women Overseas for Equality)
|Arresting Roman Polanski the other day in Zurich, where he was to receive an honorary award at a film festival, was disgraceful and unjustifiable. Polanski, now 76, has been living in France for over thirty years, and has been traveling and working in Europe unhindered, but the Swiss acted on an old extradition treaty with the U.S. and seized him! The Swiss Justice Ministry will decide whether to extradite him to the United States. |
LATIMES'S Patrick Goldstein
|Hugo's story is a tragedy, as is the life story of Polanski, who was a fugitive as a boy and is now a fugitive as an old man. Whether the L.A. County District Attorney Office has its way or not, it is not a story that can have a happy ending. I think Polanski has already paid a horrible, soul-wrenching price for the infamy surrounding his actions. The real tragedy is that he will always, till his death, be snubbed and stalked and confronted by people who think the price he has already paid isn't enough.|