French women protest Roman Polanski's retrospective

French women protest Roman Polanski's retrospective”

A group of topless protesters, men and women, appeared at the ceremony to speak out in opposition of giving the director an honor in light of his history of sexual assault.

Protesters demonstrated on Monday at the start of a month-long retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski in Paris, noting he is a fugitive from USA justice for child rape. "If rape is an art form, give Polanski all the Cesars", read one banner waved outside the venue.

Feminist groups were outraged by the month-long retrospective of the film director's work that has been arranged by Cinémathèque Française.

In 1978, convinced a judge was going to scrap his plea deal and send him to prison for decades, Polanski fled for France and has been a fugitive from the United States justice system ever since, despite repeated attempts to have him extradited.

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 confirmed they were investigating new rape allegations against Polanski, made by a woman who said he assaulted her in a resort in the Swiss Alps in 1972.

It comes as debate over sexual abuse rages worldwide following the allegations that toppled Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. This week U.S. actor Kevin Spacey also became embroiled in allegations he sexually harassed a minor in the 1980s.

"Polanski has no place in an homage organised by a public cultural institution in France".

Additional protests against the Polish-French filmmaker continued outside, organized by groups Femen and Osez le Feminisme.

She said the Cinematheque Francaise was "spitting in the face of victims of male aggression" and complicit to the impunity of the aggressors.

French culture minister, Françoise Nyssen, defended the retrospective, arguing that it is about Polanski's work, not his personal history.

In 2009, Swiss authorities arrested Polanski on his arrival in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival.

All attempts to have him extradited back to the USA have failed.

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