Wednesday, November 13 comes out on the French screens "J'accuse", the new feature film by Roman Polanski. Much has been said about this film since it won last September, the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. But also, because its author, now octogenarian, faces a new charge of rape.
Last Friday, the newspaper Le Parisien published the testimony of the photographer Valentine Monnier, who says he was " beaten " and raped by Roman Polanski in 1975, at the age of eighteen. She is the fifth woman who accuses the director of rape. What embarrass again the world of French cinema.
Keep quiet and let the media storm pass ... This is the solution chosen by the star on J'accuse. Jean Dujardin canceled last Sunday his visit to the prestigious TV news of TF1.
Emmanuelle Seigner, who replies and is also the companion of Roman Polanski, also gave up the defense of the film on France Inter.
The discomfort is palpable, even if Valentine Monnier - who claims to have been raped by the director, 44 years ago - does not complain, the facts being prescribed.
Should we separate the man from the artist?
Should we turn the page? Sheltering behind the presumption of innocence? Believe on word the filmmaker who challenges the facts by the voice of his lawyer? Separate the man from the artist?
This is not the first time in any case that the French film industry is embarrassed by the case Polanski, a huge filmmaker, but a man accused of rape five times.
Two years ago, feminist associations were indignant at the retrospective devoted to it at the Cinémathèque, and then Roman Polanski had to give up presiding over the Caesar ceremony.