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One Last Thing

[ 0 ] September 29, 2009 |

I will hopefully leave this subject for a while, but before I do, for those who haven’t seen Wanted and Desired I can’t recommend Lauren Bans’s post more strongly:

Excepting the lawyers who worked on the case, the majority of the voices in the film are Polanski’s Hollywood friends, and they make great strides to point out the “reputation” of the victim. More than two people note that the girl was not a virgin. In a clip that made me want to stab out my eyeballs, one female friend of Polanski’s goes so far as to mention that the girl’s mother introduced herself to Polanski as “an actress” and then asks, “Why would her mother let her daughter go to a photo shoot alone with him in the first place?” Oh yes, I see, clearly her mother deliberately set her up to be raped in order to advance her career! Now there’s some stellar logic fit for inclusion in a documentary.

I had read enough about the film to expect it to be somewhat tendentious. But absolutely nothing prepared me for the extent to which Zenovich allowed various Polanski allies to smear the victim with reactionary and misogynist stereotypes, made all the worse by the fact that she chose to excise the most important parts of the victim’s grand jury testimony. And the fact that so many reviewers ignored this elephant in the room while describing the film as persuasive or even-handed is also dismaying, and sadly instructive about the power that retrograde sexual politics still holds over too many people.

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