In Paris, at the 2020 Cesar Awards, the film “An Officer And A Spy” won three awards. Neither the 85 year old director Roman Polanski, nor his cast and crew, were present at the ceremony. This did not stop a number of actresses from walking out of the ceremony in protest when Polanski’s win was announced. He was convicyed of statutory rape of a minor in 1977. According to observers, by awarding the prize to Roman Polanski the French Film Academy stood up to the pandemic of political correctness by arguing it should not take moral positions in giving awards.
For his latest film, Roman Polański won “best director”, “best adapted screenplay” and “best costumes”. “An Officer and a Spy”, set in 1894, tells a story about the wrongful conviction and life imprisonment of a Jewish French officer, Alfred Dreyfus. This trial is deemed one of the most controversial and political dramas in French history.
The film, telling a story about discrimination and antisemitism, still is a relevant topic in modern times. Polański himself lived with this Polish-Jewish parents in a Kraków ghetto, during Poland’s occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. In an attempt to save his life, and risking their own, he was hidden away by his Catholic family.
The director did not appear at the Ceasar award gala because, as he says, he feared a public lynching. A riot took place outside of the ceremony, during which police were forced to use tear gas on protesters. Among the demonstrators were chanting women, reminding of the accusations made against the filmmaker. Polański has been prosecuted by the American justice system since 1977 regarding sexual acts with a minor.