French film organization SACD
launched the petition two days after news sources announced Polanski's
arrest. Names of U.S. directors Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and David
Lynch now join that of Pedro Almodovar, Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam
and Gael Garcia Bernal. "If only in the name of this friendship
between our two countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman
Polanski," the petition says on behalf of the undersigned.
Polanski, the mind behind Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The
Pianist, had arrived in Switzerland to accept a lifetime achievement
award at the Zurich Film Festival. As previously reported,
Swiss police arrested him at Zurich's Kloten Airport while acting on an
31-year-old outstanding arrest warrant. The crime: drugging, raping and
sodomizing a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson's Mulholland Drive
"Film festivals the world over have
always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them
freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this," the petition says. "The
arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he
could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition."
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