HBO was forced to change the ending of Marina Zenovich’s acclaimed documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” shortly before its TV premiere on Monday, after Los Angeles Superior Court officials “complained the film’s conclusion was a ‘complete fabrication.’ ” Said conclusion, which relates an incident that allegedly occured in 1997, is explained in the LA Times:
The documentary originally asserted that a local judge had offered [Polanski] a deal whereby he could return to the United States with no jail time if he allowed the legal proceedings to be televised…
Allan Parachini, public information officer for the court, said that the offer alluded to in Marina Zenovich’s documentary “never occurred.”
He added that the “fabricated reference” to the televised hearing had “the potential to . . . enormously” injure the reputation of judge Larry Paul Fidler and that court officials had been pressuring Zenovich and HBO to correct the film for about a week.
Kim Masters at Slate explicates further:
Fidler… presided over the recent Phil Spector murder trial, and in that case, he allowed the cameras to roll. Spector’s case was the first criminal trial televised in its entirety in a Los Angeles Superior Court since the O.J. Simpson case in 1995. That may be why Fidler was sensitive to the film’s implication that he was another media-obsessed jurist.
Now, former Deputy District Attorney Roger Gunson and Polanski’s attorney Douglas Dalton, who are both featured in the film, have issued a statement indicating they have issues with the Superior Court’s issues. It’s up on Deadline Hollywood Daily:
During the meeting, Mr. Dalton pressed Judge Fidler for a resolution of the case that would allow for minimal news media. Mr. Dalton recalled that Judge Fidler would require television coverage at the proposed hearing due to the controversy. Mr. Gunson recalls television coverage discussed at the meeting. Mr. Dalton told documentary director Marina Zenovich of this requirement. It is our shared view that Monday’s false and reprehensible statement by the Los Angeles Superior Court continues their inappropriate handling of the Polanski case.
No takesies backsies, LASC.
[Photo: “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” THINKFilm, 2008]