Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir

Roman Polanski is as famous for his dramatic private life as he is for his extraordinary work as a director. Friend and producer Andrew Braunsberg (The Tenant, Macbeth) says as much, and the filmmaker himself grudgingly admits it, in this intimate, fascinating conversation—the majority shot while Polanski was under house arrest in Switzerland in 2010, fighting extradition to the US in connection with a 1977 statutory rape charge. That moment, which calls forth a contrite recounting from Polanski that nevertheless sets a sensationalized record straight, is also a catalyst for a wide-ranging discussion of his life and career. This includes formative experiences as a Polish Jew in the Kraków Ghetto and continues through a series of remarkable reversals of fortune, most disastrously the murder of pregnant wife Sharon Tate in the 1969 killing spree orchestrated by Charles Manson. Polanski relates these episodes with honesty, visible pain and an unguarded wonder at the vicissitudes of fate. Director Laurent Bouzereau peppers this searching encounter with personal images and clips from Polanski’s oeuvre, tracing an utterly distinctive life deeply resonant with its turbulent age.
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