Polanksi returns to the history books in new film ‘D’

10 years after his award-winning film The Pianist, director Roman Polanski returns to the history books with his new film D.

Picking up the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2002 with Adrian Brody as Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish pianist who hid from the Nazis in war-torn Warsaw, Polanski once again casts the spotlight at anti-Semitism in Europe.

Roman Polanski

Yet to be filmed, D will follow the infamous l’Affaire Dreyfus. The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. Wrongly convicted for treason in November 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent was sentenced to life imprisonment. Accused of having communicated French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, Dreyfus was sent to the penal colony at Devil’s Island in French Guiana and placed in solitary confinement, where he was to spend almost 5 years.

After the real culprit was discovered in 1896, efforts were made to cover up the scandal resulting in acclaimed writer Emile Zola writing an open letter to a major French newspaper. Entitled J’Accuse, the letter condemned the anti-Dreyfusards and demanded that the case be re-opened with Dreyfus returned to France and exonerated.

During a press conference today Polanski stated that the film will treat the subject more as a spy story than costume drama in order to  highlight the similarities between this period and our own today. According to the film maker, the Dreyfus Affair perfectly captures a witch-hunt against a minority, national security paranoia, secret military tribunals, government cover-ups and a frenzied press.

With production scheduled to start later this year in Paris, D will reunite novelist/screenwriter Robert Harris and Polanksi after the 2010 film The Ghost Writer.


~ by cinemalicious on May 10, 2012.

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