The famous Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski who directed such films as the Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Pianist is set to direct Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin in a film based on the Dreyfus Affair.
The film is filled with controversy because of the MeToo movement which has swept Hollywood and embroiled filmmakers such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacy, and Tom Sizemore still hasn’t damaged filmmakers such as Polanski or prevented them from making films.
Roman Polanski, who is accused of rape and has a warrant for his arrest in the United States for the last four decades will explore one of the most famous miscarriages of justice in his new film, J'Accuse. Is this coincidence? We think not.
The spy thriller is based on the real-life story of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French solider during the First World War, wrongly accused of spying for the Germans, whose trial for treason became a cause celebre in Paris in the 1890s. French Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin, who was the star of the black-and-white silence picture The Artist will play the roll of a counter-espionage officer who proved, after Dreyfus’ conviction, that he was innocent.
Louis Garrel will play Dreyfus. Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Gourmet and Polanski's wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, is co-staring,
Polanski has been developing J'Accuse, or in English The Dreyfus Affair, for six years now. British writer Robert Harris, who has worked with Polanski on The Ghost Writer, penned the screenplay. The director first announced the Dreyfus project in Cannes in 2012. He had initially planned to make the film in English, arguing the story was relevant in today’s world of secret military courts, government cover ups and an out-of-control press.
But the timing of the film means J'Accuse will be Polanski's first film in the #MeToo movement and there will be backlash over the director’s past behaviour. Many people are asking why Hollywood and film studios across the world are still allowing Polanski to make films when so many other actors accused of sexual misconduct, rape and other behaviour have been blocked from doing so.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled the director, saying Polanski's actions did not conform with the Academy's new ethical standards, yet somehow he still gets studio backing.
Polanski was arrested and charged with raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He pled guilty to statutory rape and was briefly imprisoned, after which he was released and put on probation as part of a plea bargain. When Polanski learned that a judge was planning to revoke the plea deal, the director fled Paris before the sentencing. He has remained a fugitive every since, despite repeated attempt to extradite him. He lives in France, which does not extradite its own citizens. He has been living there for four decades. He has not set foot in the United States since then.
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