Roman Polanski, the once-fugitive movie director that raped a 13-year-old American girl in 1977 and then fled to France, has won an award while still under house arrest in his luxury Swiss Chalet. Last week, Polanski received the Silver Bear award as best director at the Berlin International film for "The Ghost Writer." His producer Alain Sarde accepted, because, as Polanski said, "The last time I traveled to accept an award I landed in jail."
The award was met with a chorus of approval from Polanski's apologists, including Bernard-Henri Levy, a French writer and philosopher.Writing in a Feb. 21 Huffington Post article "Salut, Roman Polanski," Levy celebrated the smack at justice.
Levy argued that the award proves two things. First, that there are still "men and women of honor," such as the jury of the Berlin Festival, who refuse to "be intimidated by the mob." And second, that Roman Polanski deserves to be applauded for refusing to be "cornered and defeated" by the "pack that snaps at [his] heels." Polanski, Levy wrote, is "indestructible," "courageous" and has a "spirit of resistance" - and to those "bastards" that tried to bring him down, Polanski has now proven to them that "the artist, not the mob, always has the last word."
Levy also claimed that Polanski's "celebrity, talent, and genius weigh him down," and, if it weren't for those, the "suspicions and crimes" against him (aka, drugging and raping a helpless, scared young girl) "would not exist."
Levy wrote, "I have said, time and again, that it is Polanski the man who counts, not the artist." Well, it was Polanski the man that sodomized a young girl and then fled the country to escape punishment, and it is Polanski the man that U.S. authorities have sought all these years. And no matter what Levy maintains, only Polanski's celebrity status has protected him from justice.