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The Polanski Affair45:17
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Polish-born film director Roman Polanski during a burial ceremony for French film maker Claude Berri, in Montrouge, France, Jan. 15, 2009. (AP)
Polish-born film director Roman Polanski during a burial ceremony for French film maker Claude Berri, in Montrouge, France, Jan. 15, 2009. (AP)

In 1977, film director Roman Polanski — "Chinatown," "Tess," "The Pianist" -- was indicted for drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl in LA.

He pled guilty to a single charge, spent 45 days in confinement, then fled the country for Europe.

Last Saturday he was arrested in Switzerland. The U.S. wants him back.

The details of the case are disturbing. The post-arrest reaction across the Atlantic, fascinating.

This hour we’ll hear it. Geraldine Ferraro says lock him up. French luminary Bernard Henri-Levy says let him go. They’re with us. Plus The New York Times' David Carr.

This hour, On Point: Judging Roman Polanski.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

News Update: Polanski only safe in France, Poland, Switzerland

Guests:

Joining us from Montclair, N.J., is David Carr, columnist and reporter for The New York Times covering media and culture. He also writes for the Times' Media Decoder blog and writes the Oscar-season blog The Carpetbagger.

From New York City we're joined by Bernard-Henri Levy. A writer, journalist, philosopher and public intellectual, he recently authored a petition, posted at The Huffington Post, calling for Polanski's immediate release and signed by such luminaries as Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, Isabelle Adjani and Isabelle Huppert. His recent books include "Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism" and "American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville."

Joining us from New York City is Geraldine Ferraro, attorney and former U.S. Congresswoman from New York. She was the first woman to be nominated for vice president by a major party, when she ran on the Democratic ticket with Walter Mondale in 1984. She is now a principal with Blank Rome LLP, a law practice and lobbying firm. She has argued strongly for prosecuting Roman Polanski. In the late 1970s, as assistant district attorney for Queens County, New York, Ferraro led the newly created Special Victims Bureau, prosecuting cases involving rape and child abuse.

This program aired on October 2, 2009.

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