Filmmaker Marina Zenovich digs into the tawdry personal life of controversial Polish director Roman Polanski (“Chinatown,” “Rosemary’s Baby”) in this thought-provoking portrait, revisiting legal entanglements in the 1977 statutory-rape case that caused him to flee the United States. But is Polanski’s dark reputation deserved?
Zenovich wants to rehabilitate Polanski’s less-than-admirable image, but the way she goes about it is intelligent and thorough. She speaks with screenwriter Robert Towne, actress Mia Farrow, and Polanski’s victim Samantha Geimer, a minor at the time of the case, weaving together old film and interview clips with a cogent critical assessment of the judicial process that resulted in Polanski’s bail-jumping flight to France and permanent exile from Hollywood. A thoroughly engrossing exposé.