Polanski retrospective sparks protest in Paris

Director Roman Polanski, right, and Emmanuelle Seigner pose during a photo call prior to the screening of "Based on a true story" in Paris, France, Monday Oct. 30, 2017. France's famed film institute La Cinematheque Francaise says it will go ahead with a retrospective of works by director Roman Polanski despite opposition by feminist groups, in regard to the Polish-born director who in the 1970s pleaded guilty to having sex in the U.S. with a 13-year-old girl whom he plied with champagne and Quaaludes. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS - French feminist groups on Monday staged a protest against a retrospective honouring director Roman Polanski at film institute La Cinematheque Francaise.

A few dozen protesters gathered near the Paris institute as the event was starting Monday night, booing as Polanski attended the opening.

Two members of the Femen activist group went topless near Polanski inside the film institute, shouting "no honour for rapists." They were quickly taken outside by security staff, where they continued to protest.

La Cinematheque Francaise maintained its program despite criticism in the wake of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The institute said its role was not to moralize. Polish-born Polanski in the 1970s pleaded guilty to having sex in the U.S. with a 13-year-old girl, whom he plied with champagne and Quaaludes.

Since Polanski fled the U.S., he has mostly lived in Paris.

Director of "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby", he won the Academy Award for best director for "The Pianist" in 2003.

An online petition calling on the institute to cancel the retrospective, calling it "an insult to all women" mobilized under the #MeToo banner, was signed by more than 27,000 people Monday.

The Osez le feminisme! (Dare Feminism!) activist group called on the government to stop supporting the head of the film institute, which is financed by the French state and private sponsors.

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