Those are a few of the names on the Petition for Roman Polanski, spotlighting the precise reason this incident is important to the international film community:
By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.
The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no-one can know the effects.
Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.
The petition ends with this appeal:
On September 16th, 2009, Mr. Charles Rivkin, the US Ambassador to France, received French artists and intellectuals at the embassy. He presented to them the new Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the embassy, Ms Judith Baroody. In perfect French she lauded the Franco-American friendship and recommended the development of cultural relations between our two countries.
If only in the name of this friendship between our two countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski.
Full text of the petition, after the cut, along with the names of dozens of other filmmakers who have signed it.
Final word (as if) goes to the victim, Samantha Geimer, herself:
“I know there is a price to pay for running. But who wouldn’t think about running when facing a 50-year sentence from a judge who was clearly more interested in his own reputation than a fair judgment or even the well-being of the victim?
“My attitude surprises many people. That’s because they didn’t go through it all; they don’t know everything that I know. People don’t understand that the judge went back on his word. They don’t know how unfairly we were all treated by the press. Talk about feeling violated! The media made that year a living hell, and I’ve been trying to put it behind me ever since.” LA Times