Roman Polanski, Hollywood’s favorite child molester, is making a new movie he thinks will bring attention to his own supposed persecution. Called D, the movie is described by the Los Angeles Times as “a political thriller based on the story of the French soldier who was wrongly accused of spying.” As the Times reports, Polanski has always been fascinated by the tale of Alfred Dreyfus, who was wrongly sentenced to life in prison after being charged with spying for Germany because of his Jewish heritage. His case had a tremendous impact on the Jewish world in particular, driving Theodor Herzl to embrace Zionism and sparking a renewed interest among secular Jews across Europe in reconstituting a Jewish homeland to avoid persecution.
“I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story,” said Polanski. “In this way one can show its absolute relevance to what is happening in today’s world – the age-old spectacle of the witch-hunt of a minority group, security paranoia, secret military tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, governmental cover-ups and a rabid press.”
He may want to make the story of Dreyfus into a leftist parable, but it was a real event with a real underlying cause. But Polanski has a history of ignoring real anti-Semitism in his films, despite the fact that he is a Holocaust survivor. The Pianist had several soft stereotypes of Jews in it, including guests in a café checking whether their gold coins are genuine; meanwhile, the film soft-pedals the brutality of the Germans – in the film’s climactic scene, the main character is let go by a German officer who is converted to kindness by the character’s piano-playing.
This is typical Hollywood. Anti-Semitism can never be treated as an actual phenomenon – instead, it is a metaphor for other suffering. No doubt; Emile Zola, who exposed the Dreyfus prosecution as a fraud, will be portrayed not as an enterprising truth-teller, but as a synonym for today’s modern leftist press.
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