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Polanski and Turkish film win Berlinale prizes

AFP · 21 Feb 2010, 09:10

Published: 21 Feb 2010 09:10 GMT+01:00

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Polanski, 76, missed the world premiere of his film at the Berlinale, the first major international cinema showcase of the year, due to his house arrest in Switzerland where he is fighting extradition to the United States over a 1977 case of sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The Silver Bear trophy was accepted by a producer of the film, Alain Sarde, at a gala ceremony late Saturday. "I am sure Roman will be very happy," he said.

"However, when I was lamenting with him that he cannot be with us, he said to me, 'Even if I could, I wouldn't because the last time I went to a festival to get a prize, I ended up in jail'," he quipped.

Sarde was referring to the director's arrest in September on a US warrant when he went to Zurich to accept an award. Polanski finished work on "The Ghost Writer" in his Swiss chalet.

The Swiss daily Basler Zeitung called the remarks "bitterly sarcastic" while industry magazine The Hollywood Reporter described the prize as "controversial".

"Whatever the reasons for the jury's decision, the Silver Bear for Polanski will likely be seen as a signal of solidarity with the director," it added.

Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper called the award a "political signal" on behalf of the beleaguered director.

"One festival, the one in Zurich where he was invited and then arrested, brought Polanski disgrace. Another festival, the one in Berlin, rehabilitated him, at least artistically," it wrote.

A seven-member jury led by German director Werner Herzog ("Fitzcarraldo") and including Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger gave top honours to the Turkish film "Bal" (Honey) starring a seven-year-old boy.

The haunting picture, a Turkish-German co-production, tells the story of a struggling pupil whose father dies in a freak accident. It was one of 20 international contenders.

"Honey" is the third in a trilogy by director Semih Kaplanoglu, 46, tracing the life of Yusuf and his development as an artist and human being in rural Turkey, played here by Bora Altas, now aged eight.

Kaplanoglu thanked the festival for the honours - the first Golden Bear for a Turkish film since 1964 - and called attention to Turkey's threatened wilderness near the Black Sea coast, the setting for much of the film.

"I hope with this prize we have received this evening, we manage to protect the environment there as well," he said.

The runner-up jury prize went to Romania's "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle" the debut feature of 35-year-old Florin Serban set in a grim youth prison and featuring a cast full of amateurs.

Story continues below…

The stars of the Russian Arctic drama "How I Ended This Summer", Grigory Dobrygin and Sergei Puskepalis, shared the Silver Bear for best actor.

Japan's Shinobu Terajima was named best actress as the long-suffering wife of a severely disabled World War II veteran in the harrowing anti-war film "Caterpillar".

The Chinese drama "Apart Together" about a Taiwanese veteran who reunites with the love of his life on the mainland after more than 50 years of separation captured best screenplay.

Last year's Golden Bear winner, "The Milk of Sorrow" from Peru, has been nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film.

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Your comments about this article

07:28 February 22, 2010 by ColoSlim
No other comments on this? Mr. Polanski, your next film should be about what the general population do to prison inmates who are convicted of having sex with little girls. They call it Federal (Pound You In The Keester) Prison.

As for Mr. Sarde, did you know you were accepting an honor and working with a CONVICTED criminal? Does anyone care that Polanski was convicted, and fled before he could be sent to prison?

As for the Swiss authorities, thank you for capturing this scum bag, now hand him over.
20:10 February 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
No, Polanski would have been in a California state prison (which is worse than federal) had he not reached a plea bargain at the time. He boogied out of the country because he was afraid the publicity-crazed judge was going to renege on the plea deal and put him in the slammer. He should have received a sentence of 25 years like any other child rapist, in which case we wouldn't be having this discussion now. They really don't like baby rapers in the joint.
11:56 February 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Actually, Polanski IS allowed entry into the USA. He just doesn't want to go there at the moment.
03:01 April 18, 2010 by Monde
The Ghost, is an excellent movie, which parallels Polanski¦#39;s plight since the first ghost writer washed up on the beach might be Polanski, who after running into Judicial & Prosecutorial corruption became a ghost in America.

Polanski was not a Ghost because of his crime. he tried to make it right but the authorities were f..... him around.

If Polanski committed a crime in California, and to commit a crime, the intent to must be there, then even so - the process should not have included bait and switch plea bargains, and illegal Judicial coercion in sentencing.

The Judicial corruption is the only reason Polanski is in the news 33 years later, if Polanski had been treated fairly, then Roman Polanski would not have felt a need to fly over the Cuckoo¦#39;s Nest, back to Paris.



If Rittenband thought the crime was so bad why did he let Roman Polanski make a movie in Tahiti after he was arrested. See above link.

If Polanskis crime was so terrible why did the Judge let Polanski leave USA to make a movie in 77?

Is this not t insane?

In addition Roman Polanskis case is not the only Judicial corruption at the Santa Monica Courthouse in sexual assault cases, which indicates a double standard,

where Los Angeles and their lawyers are exploiting sexual assault cases for their own power and greed,

so their employees can continue to sexually molest at California Colleges with impunity, knowing the County of Los Angeles lawyers will bail them out.

The exploitation and corruption of Santa Monica and Los Angeles authorities is against sexual assault victims as well as those who are accused of a crime






It is convenient for the Los Angeles Prosecutors, but it is wrong to blame the dead Santa Monica Judge entirely for all the corruption at the Santa Monica Courthouse, or Polanski,

since the Santa Monica Judicial corruption is systemic and permeates the entire California Justice system even today, including its Court of appeals, Second District where Polanski¦#39;s case is being decided.

In the California appeal court there is a Justice who was promoted on police brutality day by the former Governor, who allowed undocumented white sheriff deputies to assault and batter a victim of sexual molestation and police cover up of it, at the Santa Monica Courthouse in front of him. Later he said one African American Sheriff was in his courtroom, which is untrue and who has since been convicted in a different matter, which puts a dent in the California Justices credibility.

What can you say when you have experienced all this except to say forget it Jake its China Town
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