The Front National vs. Sarkozy and… Polanski

I suppose it was inevitable that Jean-Marie Le Pen, being an excessively proud Frenchman and all, would have something or other to say about the recent Roman Polanski debacle. Here it is, a statement that Le Pen made in tandem with his daughter and soon-to-be-boss of the Front National, Marine (courtesy of the NY Times):

On the extreme right, the father and daughter politicians Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen also criticized the ministers, saying they were supporting “a criminal pedophile in the name of the rights of the political-artistic class.”

Obviously, Le Pen isn’t sounding off on Polanski so much as he’s sniping at his enemy Sarkozy, who is all too eager to run around bearing a bull’s-eye; nevertheless, the presumably contentious relationship between the FN and European artists has been of great interest to me as of late, so if anyone knows of another instance of Le Pen criticizing or even endorsing a filmmaker, novelist, painter, whoever—don’t hesitate to enlighten me.

UPDATE (12:26PM): Richard Brody offers his own, decidedly more nuanced take on the Polanski affair, and I agree with more or less everything he says. Sure, the law’s the law and it ought to be upheld 99.99% of the time, but what about when the law is functioning to smack Lady Justice right in the kisser? Polanski is certainly guilty of some undeniably sordid and skeezy acts, but the court was also guilty of practicing a parody of prosecution against him. The whole situation is as bizarre as it is troubling. Many commentators are arguing that letting Polanski off would amount to allowing the rich and famous to play by a dramatically less restrictive set of rules (as if they don’t already), but what about the court that fumbled Polanski’s case so badly, or the dishonest, attention-starved judge who presided over and orchestrated this disgustingly drawn-out charade? Justice, ladies and germs, is a two-way street, not a cul-de-sac.

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