The ceremony for the César Awards, the French model of the Oscars, befell in Paris on Friday amid protests by girls’s rights activists as director Roman Polanski was awarded, in his absence, the very best director award for his newest movie.
Polanski determined to skip the ceremony due to protests by girls’s teams denouncing the 12 nominations the movie acquired after a French girl introduced a brand new rape accusation in opposition to him.
At the announcement of Polanski’s award as greatest director for his movie An Officer and a Spy, some boos emerged from the viewers of movie groups and cinema professionals.
Actress Adèle Haenel, who not too long ago denounced alleged sexual assault by one other French director in the early 2000s when she was 15, obtained up and walked out of the room, adopted by just a few others.
“Distinguishing Polanski is spitting in the face of all victims. It means raping girls is not that unhealthy,” Haenel advised the New York Times earlier this week.
The movie’s solid and manufacturing crew, together with greatest actor nominee Jean Dujardin, additionally declined to attend the ceremony. Dujardin posted a message on Instagram that mentioned, “By making this movie, I believed and I nonetheless consider I made extra good than hurt.”
An Officer and a Spy is concerning the anti-Semitic persecution of French military Capt. Alfred Dreyfus and his wrongful treason conviction in the 1890s. It was among the many greatest movie nominees.
Polanski’s movie gained two different awards for greatest costume design and greatest adaptation. No one got here on stage to just accept the trophies awarded to An Officer and a Spy.
The present’s host, comic Florence Foresti, left Polanski’s movie out of her opening remarks when she talked about those with a number of nominations. Instead, Foresti referred to the 86-year-old director as “Atchoum,” French for the Sneezy character in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
“I made a decision that Atchoum wouldn’t be sufficiently big to overshadow the French cinema,” she mentioned.
The award for greatest movie has been awarded to Les Misérables, Ladj Ly’s replace of the Victor Hugo basic, about tensions between police and minorities in a poor Paris suburb. The movie gained the Jury Price in Cannes Film Festival final yr.
The complete male-dominated management of the César Awards stepped down not too long ago amid disagreement over its decision-making construction and the way to cope with the Polanski drawback.
Just a few hundred protesters brandishing indicators with phrases equivalent to “Victims, we consider you” and “No to impunity” assembled exterior the Salle Pleyel corridor earlier than the ceremony began. The group chanted, “We are right here, we’re right here, even when Polanski does not prefer it, we’re right here.”
“By supporting the aggressors, by celebrating the aggressors, one doesn’t permit the victims to talk out. Their phrase is denied,” mentioned Céline Piques of girls’s activist group Osez le Féminisme.
In a press release this week, the Paris-based Polanski mentioned the ceremony was turning right into a “public lynching” and that he determined to not attend the ceremony to guard his colleagues and his spouse and kids.
Polanski remains to be needed in the United States many years after he was charged with raping a 13-year-old woman in 1977. He pleaded responsible to illegal sexual activity with a minor, however fled the nation on the eve of sentencing.
Last yr, a lady got here ahead to accuse Polanski of raping her in 1975 in his Swiss chalet when she was 18. Polanski denied it, and the allegations are too outdated for an investigation.
But the accusation put the director beneath contemporary scrutiny in France, the place he has lengthy been revered as one of many nation’s premier filmmakers regardless of the excellent rape cost in the U.S. Other accusations have additionally emerged.
“Is it regular for a person to rape after which 30 years later to be a star in common cultures? No, it isn’t regular, and a rapist ought to be in jail,” one other Osez le Féminisme activist, Fabienne El Khoury, mentioned.