Roman Polanski is certainly admired and respected as one of the world’s great film directors. But his reputation has been forever tarnished by his public conviction for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor some 30 years ago and his subsequent flight from the United States to avoid going to jail. At least that’s what everyone thinks. In her riveting reopening of this controversial and, as it turns out, very complex case, filmmaker Marina Zenovich fashions a perceptive and intelligent exploration of what really happened those many years ago and casts a very different light on Polanski’s decision as well as the workings of the legal system.
Revisiting all of the key players—the lawyers, the victim, and the media—and focusing on the conduct of the judge whose handling of the case was definitely unusual, as well as unearthing telling footage from the past and incorporating insightful interviews from the present, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired develops a case for a clear miscarriage of justice. But far from being an apologia for Polanski, the film is simply trying to bring comprehension and clarity to events long clouded by myths and presumptions. Sure to raise questions and perhaps resolve the limbo that still envelops Polanski, this documentary is one that you won’t want to miss. (Geoffrey Gilmore / Sundance Film Festival)