Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired  JUN 23 2008  rating: 4.0 stars

Now showing on HBO:

On March 11, 1977, Roman Polanski was arrested in Los Angeles and charged with the following counts: furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child, unlawful sexual intercourse, rape by use of drugs, perversion and sodomy. Less than a year later, on February 1, 1978, Polanski drove to LAX, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and never came back. Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired explores the implausible events that took place between these dates, along with details, before and after, that forever altered the life and career of Polanski, one of the world's most acclaimed directors.

This snippet of an interview with the filmmaker should give you a taste of what to expect from the film:

I felt it was my job to explain how people think they know the story, but they don't. That doesn't excuse Polanski in any way, but it shows what he went through. I think the best viewer for this film is someone who can't stand Roman Polanski and is disgusted by what happened. But if they allow themselves to watch the film, they usually come away from it feeling differently. If not about the crime, then at least about the aftermath. It's quite surprising.

The Smoking Gun has the grand jury testimony of then 13-year-old Samantha Gailey, taken two weeks after she had sex with Polanski. If you don't catch the movie on HBO, it'll be out in limited release in theaters on July 11.

Update: There's a post on the HBO bulletin board for the movie that looks like it was written by Samantha Geimer (formerly Gailey):

I hope you all watched and enjoyed the movie. I think Marina did an excellent job in uncovering the facts. Since my mother did not participate, let me clarify a few things for you all.

She did not travel in the same social circles with Roman. She met him once, that meeting had nothing to do with my getting the modeling job. She did not send me off to be raped, or have some blackmail plot in mind. Calling the police pretty much rules blackmail out from the get go. Roman was not known as a pedophile in March of 1977, he was a influential and respected director. Even his relationship with Natasha Kinski did not occur until after my meeting with him, as far as I know.

The sex was not consentual and I have never said it was.

And last, I was not supposed to be alone with him, a friend was to come along with with us, but he talked me into going alone with him as the last minute, my mother was unaware of that until I called her later to check in. Even so, she would never have dreamed he would do what he did to me, just because we were alone. This was a long time ago, when child molestation did not immediately leap to the front of everyone's mind as is does today. I do find it strange that some of his friends say he couldn't have done it, while others say of course he would.

My mother has carried alot of guilt about this for many years, so I would appreciate it if people would stop blaming her. There is alot of blame to go around.

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