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Roman Polanski — winners and losers

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Europeans celebrated and  stunned U.S. officials vowed to try again to extradite director Roman Polanski if they ever find a “cooperative” jurisdiction in the future.polanski chalet

But where was Hollywood on Monday when Polanski finally won his freedom in Switzerland and avoided a showdown in California over the rape of a 13 year-old girl in 1977? Largely silent,  despite having awarded Polanski a best director Oscar for his searing 2002  movie “The Pianist”,  set in a World War Two ghetto.

For all the criticism in parts of the media of so-called Hollywood liberals,  U.S. supporters of Polanski were hardly standing up to be counted on the day Switzerland rejected a U.S. bid to extradite the film director to face sentencing over having unlawful sex with a minor more than 30 years ago.

In Europe on the other hand, where Polanski has lived, made movies, and carried on as a living film legend, politicians and artists  issued warm statements welcoming his return to the creative community and noting Polanski’s painful personal history as a man who escaped the Holocaust, only to see his pregnant wife murdered by followers of Charles Manson in 1969.

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