VENICE (Reuters) – The producer of Roman Polanski’s latest film (The Palace) has lamented that no one wants the film’s distribution rights in the United States, the United Kingdom and France, saying morality should not influence art.
Polanski, one of the most successful directors of his generation, fled the United States because he was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977, a crime to which he confessed.
After the #MeToo movement gained global momentum in 2017 following sexual assault accusations against American film producer Harvey Weinstein, several women alleged that Polanski also sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers.
Polanski, a dual French-Polish citizen, denied the allegations, which were never brought to trial, but has since found it difficult to secure global distribution deals for his films, although actors continue to queue to work with him.
“The Palace”, a comedy film set in a Swiss hotel inhabited by a group of strange characters, stars Mickey Rourke, John Cleese, Oliver Masucci, Fanny Ardante, and Joaquim de Almeida.
Producer Luca Barbareschi stated that he had sold the distribution rights throughout continental Europe, but not in France, the United Kingdom or the United States, although famous actors from all three countries appear in the film.
Polanski’s previous film, “Officer and Spy,” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2019 to critical acclaim, also has not been released in theaters in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand, Barbareschi said.
He said: “We wonder why there are wars. The Anglo-Saxon world must respect artists like the rest of the world,” adding that “there is no moral judgment on art.”
(Writing by Crispian Palmer; Editing in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)