Students and staff from the Łódź Film School have filed a petition to cancel a planned meeting with director Roman Polański due to his sexual assault allegations. The school’s rector released a statement in which he emphasized that the meeting will not be canceled.
Polański is coming to Łódź to participate in the 24th Cinergia European Cinema Forum on Friday and Saturday. The director will present his newest film “An Officer and a Spy” and will visit his alma mater, the Łódź Film School, one of the most renowned film institutions in the world.
Polański’s visit to the Łódź Film School has been opposed by a group of students, staff and alumni. They had started an online petition directed at school authorities and the rector, Mariusz Grzegorzek.
It is not my place or that of students or the school’s staff to judge complicated issues such as the accusations against Polański.
“Being driven by universal rules of ethics has been written into the school’s statute. We demand that there be no exceptions to these rules,” the petition, signed by over 70 people, reads.
Rector Mariusz Grzegorzek responded to the letter, declaring that Polański is the school’s most distinguished alumni and has only shown respect to the university. He emphasized that it is not his place or that of students or the school’s staff to judge “complicated” issues such as the accusations against Polański. The rector added that the meeting is not mandatory, and all students and faculty are free to not participate.
Polański remains a fugitive from US authorities
Roman Polański, who is Jewish, was a child during the Holocaust who was saved by a Polish family. He is a Łódź Film School alumn best known for his films “Knife in the Water” (1962), “Repulsion” (1965), “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) and “The Pianist” (2005).
In 1977, Polański was arrested in the United States and charged with raping Samantha Geimer, who was a minor at the time. After a year-long legal battle, Polański left for Paris and did not wait for the court’s verdict. There still has not been a verdict as of today.
Since then, Polanski has mostly lived in France and has avoided visiting countries likely to extradite him to the United States. He is still a fugitive and would be arrested if he entered the US. His victim has often stated in interviews that she forgives him.
There were several other accusations of sexual assault by Polański in recent years but none of them has been confirmed.