Polanski wants to makes Dreyfus Affair film in Poland: associates

Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:46pm EDT
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By Marcin Goclowski

WARSAW (Reuters) - Roman Polanski wants to shoot a movie in his native Poland about the 19th-century Dreyfus Affair if the director gets assurances that he will have no legal problems stemming from a 1977 sex crime conviction in the United States, associates said.

Polanski, 80, spent part of his childhood in the Polish city of Krakow, where he aims to film, until it was occupied by Nazi German forces. He escaped Krakow's Jewish ghetto but his mother died in the nearby Auschwitz concentration camp.

After World War Two he returned to Krakow, and later emigrated.

"Roman Polanski is considering filming in Poland about the Dreyfus Affair," Jerzy Stachowicz, Polanski's Polish attorney, told Reuters, referring to the 19th-century case of French military officer Alfred Dreyfus.

Dreyfus was an artillery officer of Jewish heritage whose conviction on trumped-up treason charges was criticized as having been motivated by anti-Semitism. The case created a schism in French society and he was later exonerated.

The Polish Film Institute said that Polanski had rented an apartment in Krakow, had visited the city and taken his family to the former camp at Auschwitz, which is now a museum.

At a news conference in Krakow this week, Robert Benmussa, a producer who worked with Polanski on the 2002 Oscar-winning movie "The Pianist," said a final decision had not yet been made on whether to go ahead with the project.

"We have to be sure that filming will not be interrupted for legal reasons," Benmussa said.   Continued...

Polish-French film director Roman Polanski stands inside a coffin as he takes part in the presentation of the musical "Le Bal des Vampires" (Dance of the Vampires) at the Mogador theater in Paris March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen