Roman Polanski draws flak from protesters at retrospective of his work

Protesters hit on a window during a demonstration outside the Cinematheque Francaise film archive in Paris that film-maker Roman Polanski attended.
Protesters hit on a window during a demonstration outside the Cinematheque Francaise film archive in Paris that film-maker Roman Polanski attended. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (Reuters) - Protesters have disrupted the opening of a retrospective of Roman Polanski's work in Paris following new rape allegations against the French-Polish film director.

Some 80 protesters outside the Cinematheque Française, which is showcasing his films next month, banged on windows and carried posters with slogans such as "If rape is an art, give Polanski all the (French movie award) Cesars".

Two members of the Femen group briefly exposed their breasts and shouted "no honours for rapists" in the presence of Polanski before security pushed them outside.

Polanski, who had entered the building through a back entrance, was set to present his new movie Based On A True Story at the event.

Earlier this month, Swiss prosecutors said a former German actress and model had told authorities that he raped her at his mountain chalet in 1972 when she was 15.

Polanski, director of classic films like Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist and Carnage, had fled US sentencing in 1978 for unlawful sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in Los Angeles in 1977 in a case where he pleaded guilty.

"Polanski has no place in an homage organised by a public cultural institution in France. He should be in a US court of justice," Ms Raphaelle Remy-Leleu, spokesman for feminist group Osez le féminisme said on French CNews television.

The Cinematheque said in a statement to French media that it is honouring Polanski's work and wants to steer clear of the legal case against him.

French Culture Minister Francoise Nissen has also defended the retrospective.

"This is about his life's work, not about the man," she said on radio on Friday.