Film director Roman Polanski is now in the Polish city of Krakow, where he grew up, to direct a movie about the Dreyfus Affair, the anti-Semitic scandal that shocked France around the end of the 19th century.
It will be Polanski’s first non-fiction movie since “The Pianist,” and a return to the kind of historical costume dramas that the Polish director has excelled at, including “Macbeth,” “Chinatown,” “Tess,” and “Oliver Twist.”
His latest film will be based on Robert Harris’ novel “An Officer And a Spy,” which recounts the case of Alfred Dreyfus, who was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment on a far-off island. It follows the investigation by Georges Picquart, a military officer who believes Dreyfus is guilty — until he discovers evidence that a spy might still be at large in the military, indicating that Dreyfus is probably innocent of all charges.
Throughout his film career, Polanski has made movies in a wide variety of genres, including horror (“Rosemary’s Baby”), detective noir (“Chinatown”), classic British literature (“Tess),” Hitchcock-style mystery (“Frantic”), even comedy and slapstick (“Pirates”). But as diverse as the subject matter has been, there’s no question that virtually every film Polanski has made still falls into one category: the cinema of the Holocaust. That’s true even though among his 20 feature-length films, only one — “The Pianist,” based on the memoirs of Polish composer and Jewish Holocaust survivor Władysław Szpilman – was actually set during World War II. Read more »