History is an endless source of stories, which is useful if you acknowledge that every fiction narrative has been told already.
It was recently announced that Roman Polanski is working on a new movie based on the Dreyfus affair, a political scandal which greatly divided in the 1890s and which illustrates one of the judicial system’s greatest failures. Dreyfus, an officer of the French armies, was demoted and sent away in exile in Guyana (not a good place to go in those days) after having been wrongfully accused of delivering state secrets to the German empire.
In an interview Polanski said he was more interested in making a spy thriller than a period piece with costumes, in order to better reflect on events from our current times. According to the “Ghost Writer” filmmaker, this series of events illustrates perfectly the kind of witch-hunt often leveled at minorities, homeland security paranoia, secret military tribunals and cloak-and-dagger governments on display nowadays.
The Dreyfus affair has been turned into movies before, the first one which dates back to 1899. It was made by Georges Méliès.
Polanski won the Palme D’or in 2002 at Cannes for his film “The Pianist,” starring Adrien Brody. He will be partnering up again with “Ghost” screenwriter Robert Harris. Shooting will start in Paris in November 2012. No word yet on who will be cast.
Poor Alfred Dreyfus will turn in his grave. Polanski is doing him no favors…….