TO THE EDITOR:
An artist’s work should be judged independently of an artist’s life. Of course, we may look at their life as a source of inspiration for their art but to disregard the artist on behalf of the artist’s life is narrow.
The comparative literature department put on the Roman Polanski series because of his artistic relevance. Yes, Roman Polanski the man is a pretty messed-up guy — he survived Nazi ghettos, made fascinating suspense movies, married a future victim of the Manson family, raped a young girl, fled the country and now continues to make movies.
Roman Polanski is a human being with terrible flaws who does deserve to be punished.
But great art does not always come from great people. Editorial board member Sam Jacobson opposes the exhibition at the Varsity because it gives Roman Polanski a pedestal to speak from. Chinatown does not advocate sexual violence. In fact, a major plot point involves the repercussions of incestuous rape.
To sum up, Roman Polanski is a bad person, but a good artist.