Published On: Wed, May 28th, 2014

Roman Polanski attempts to heal old wounds

Polanski has written  the foreword to  the tragic life story of his late wife, Sharon Tate  who was cruelly murdered in 1969.

"Saint Laurent" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning director who has known more than his fair share of tragedy in his  life is playing his part in helping to take the lid off its most tragic episode, the vicious murder 45 years ago. of his wife,  actress Sharon Tate by the Helter-Skelter gang,  followers of a cult headed by Charles Manson.

The novel, which  will  be released next month  under the title of Recollection, is in effect a series of short stories on the late Sharon’s life. A life that  was viciously cut short at the age of 26, after she’d only been married to Polanski for just over a year and just two weeks before she was due to give birth to their first child.

Behind the project is the late  Sharon Tate’s sister Debra, who has also enlisted contributions  from many of Sharon’s closest friends  of the era, including Patty Duke, Joan Collins and Jane Fonda.

Undoubtedly the most poignant will be Roman Polanski’s contribution, with the Polish born Oscar-winning director being  stoically reluctant to be drawn on the cruel and vicious mass murder,  which took place in his Los Angeles home, where not only Sharon Tate was killed as part of a random but ruthless killing spree by followers  of Charles Manson but also three of her friends some of them being the victim of  torture and sadism.

According to previews, Polanski, opens it up to reveal in the foreword that even after more than 40 years, it is difficult for him to write about Sharon as as well as being impossible to imagine how different and immeasurably better life would probably have been for him if the tragic event of that night had not occurred.

Polish film director Roman Polanski and American actress Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969) at their wedding. She was subsequently murdered by members of Charles Manson's pseudo-religious sect The Family. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

“ However Debra’s book “ Recollection”  will  allow me to remember what was.” Summed up Polanski

In the aftermath of Tate’s murder, Polanski returned to Europe, taking an almost two-year sabbatical in Paris, only returning to the film studios in 1971, to direct “Macbeth”. The following year Roman  moved from France to Italy, spending  the next five years living in relative seclusion near Rome, really involved in film production.

In 1974 Polanski returned to the movie industry and to  its epicenter in Hollywood to direct “Chinatown”, starring Jack Nicholson.  “Chinatown”  was an outstanding critical and box office success,  nominated for a total of eleven Academy Awards.

Polanski was back in France to shoot his next movie  “The Tenant” released in 1976, in which he completed his “Apartment Trilogy”, following “Repulsion “and “Rosemary’s Baby”.

The following year, Polanski was arrested and charged with statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl, an offense for which he  pleaded guilty.

Before being sentenced, Polanski,  to escape what he expected  to be a heavy sentence fled the United States,  initially to his home in London, and eventually returning to Paris, where he was to remain for the following 33 years.

In September 2009, Polanski was taken into custody by Swiss police at the request of U.S. authorities when he attended the Zurich Film Festival, who unsuccessfully asked for his extradition. At that time Raman took the opportunity to offer his belated apologies to his victim, now a woman in her mid-40s, confessing  he had been carrying tremendous guilt ever since the unfortunate episode had occurred.

Pending his extradition, Polanski was held for more than 2 months in a detention center in Zürich, only being released after he posted $4.5 million in bail, after which he was allowed to live under house arrest at a chalet in Zurich after which he was freed although, the authorities in United States have yet to officially drop the charges, although there has been some recent speculation that if Polanski returned to the U.S. for a hearing, the U.S Court System might be compelled to drop the charges due to some mishandling of the charges in the original hearing.

Despite the tragic events which have plagued his life almost since his childhood, Roman Polanski succeeded in becoming one of the most talented directors in the international film industry, with a career spanning more than 50 years, during which time he has been the recipient of  six Oscar nominations, as well as two Baftas, four Césars, a Golden Globe Award and a Palme d’Or  winner at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Roman Polanski was born in Paris to Polish parents, who made the critical mistake  of moving  back to Poland in 1937, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Despite the difficulties, the Polanskis survived the Holocaust, remaining in Poland, where Roman went on to become a director of both art house and commercial films, before going on to direct his first feature-length film, Knife in the Water in 1962 that  was nominated for a United States Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, eventually forced to take second place to the  Federico Fellini classic  8½.

Possibly feeling that he had achieved all that he could in his native country, Polanskii moved to the United Kingdom, where  he directed three films, with his most outstanding being his first, Repulsion released in 1965 starring  French actress Catherine Deneuve. Repulsion debuted at the 1965 Cannes Film to considerable critical acclaim and is generally considered to be one of Polanski’s finest works, as well, as it transpires, the first in what came to be known as his “Apartment Trilogy.

In 1968 Polanski’s relentless spirit saw him move to the United States, where he reinforced his status as a talented movie director by releasing the horror movie “Rosemary’s Baby”, starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes and  Ruth Gordon, with Ms Gordon winning  an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

 

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