It may be weeks before Roman Polanski's extradition request is heard in Swiss courts. Meanwhile, the world is gripped with confusion and outrage, a heady combination in what is shaping up as one of the great kerfuffles of our times.
"Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision," says the petition which, according to the Guardian,
has now been signed by more than 70 film industry luminaries, including Polanski's fellow directors Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodóvar, Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam, Julian Schnabel, the Dardenne brothers, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Wong Kar-Wai, Walter Salles and Jonathan Demme. Actors Tilda Swinton, Monica Bellucci and Asia Argento, as well as producer Harvey Weinstein have also put their names on the petition. Yesterday, Weinstein stated he was "calling on every film-maker we can to help fix this terrible situation".
Meanwhile, the media is abuzz with speculation as to why after all these years, Polanski was arrested now. Vanity Fair's Michael Wolff opined that the arrest is revenge by prosecutors for the humiliation they endured after last year's documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired depicted the circus surrounding the original case.
The LA Times however, claims that Polanski provoked the arrest by taunting law enforcement with their inaction. They write:
Polanski's attorneys helped to provoke his arrest by complaining to an appellate court this summer that Los Angeles County prosecutors had made no real effort to capture the filmmaker in his three decades as a fugitive. The accusation that the Los Angeles County district attorney's office was not serious about extraditing Polanski was a minor point in two lengthy July court filings by the director's attorneys.
The piece goes on to describe how, despite the fact that Polanski had visited Switzerland before, the widely publicized nature of his appearances at the Zurich film festival goaded prosecutors to action.
And while Polanski's victim Samantha Geimer may be "over it" a significant lynch mob is still roaming the internet demanding justice for what they remind us, was not just some private between adults indiscretion.
At Salon, Kate Harding writes a hang 'em high piece succinctly entitled "Reminder: Roman Polanski Raped a Child."
And over at moviecitynews, David Poland rebuts seemingly the rest of Hollywood with a nice list of retorts to the "But he's a great director who's been through so much" arguments.
Turning back the clock, awards blogger Tom O'Neil wonders whether Polanski even deserved his best director Oscar for The Pianist, pointing out that the director of that year's Best Picture Chicago, was strangely denied the traditional accompanying statue and ponders whether the award might have been Hollywood's show of support to the exiled molester.