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Polanski Petition: A Gesture of Solidarity and an Appeal to Swiss Justice

05/11/2010 06:14 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This new petition is the result of a phone conversation a few days ago with Jean-Luc Godard. The principle is simple: a gesture of solidarity accompanied by an appeal to Swiss justice, signed by film makers, and only film makers, who have in common that, like Godard, their works have been named as Official Selections of this year's Cannes Film Festival.

It does not include all the 2010 nominees. Some because they did not wish to be included, others, more numerous, because we simply did not have enough time to contact them. All of them are invited to join us. All, selected in every category of the finest festival in the world, are invited to add their names, as soon as possible, to those of the first signatories.

No doubt some disgruntled souls will argue that Polanski's friends have once again rallied. No doubt there will also be those who, hiding behind their nervous and cautious reticence, will push their shamelessness to the point of warning others against a text that can only "irritate the American judge even more." A coward's argument! A pathetic objection! Here at La Règle du Jeu, we believe that, in the more than ever tragic solitude in which Roman Polanski finds himself, any and every gesture of support should be accepted. We think all means are good ones, all, if they allow him to escape the Kafkaesque isolation that has been his lot for the past seven months. And we find it, especially, a very strange conception of justice and morality that Roman Polanksi, already the sole defendant in the world never to have been granted the right to extenuating circumstances or the statute of limitations, may now be, as well, the only one forbidden to see his comrades, his colleagues and, sometimes, his friends denounce the denial of legal right of which he is the object.

The 2010 Cannes Festival begins in a few hours. There remain only a few hours to say, adamantly, that, no matter how brilliant the films presented at this new Festival, a man will shine in his blinding absence: Roman Polanski.

Petition

The undersigned learned to their amazement of new elements of information provided by Roman Polanski in the text published last Sunday, May 2nd, on the website of La Règle du Jeu, the review published under the direction of Bernard-Henri Lévy. In particular, they learned of the existence of this essential piece of evidence, placed under seal, strangely, by American justice: former District Attorney Roger Gunson's deposition of last February 26th declaring, under oath, that, 33 years ago, Roman Polanski served the entirety of his sentence at Chino State Penitentiary, according to the decision of the judge charged with his case at the time (before the latter, under the pressure of public opinion, suddenly changed his mind and retracted his decision). Conscious of all the Festival they will be attending this year owes the author of "The Pianist", whose absence there will be strongly felt, conscious as well of the basic rule of law that maintains it is impossible to judge and condemn a man twice for the same infraction, and conscious, finally, that the United States's extradition request is based upon a lie, they hereby appeal to the Swiss authorities, entreating them not to believe the word of Governor Schwarzenegger and the prosecutors of the state of California.

Premiers signatories :

Jean-Luc Godard
Mathieu Amalric
Xavier Beauvois
Agnès Varda
Bertrand Tavernier
Olivier Assayas
Jean-Stéphane Bron
Patricio Guzman
Jean Paul Civeyrac
Katell Quillévéré