The best director speaks

Polanski ‘Deeply Touched’ by Best Director Oscar
PARIS (Reuters) – Film director Roman Polanski said on Tuesday he was deeply touched by winning an Oscar for best director for his Holocaust drama “The Pianist” because the film drew on his personal experiences.
“I am deeply touched to have received the Oscar for best director for a film which recounts events which are so close to my personal experience, events which helped me to understand that art can transcend pain,” he said in a brief statement.
“I thank the members of the academy with all my heart for this magnificent reward,” Polanski said.
Polanski, who fled the United States for France in 1978 as he was about to be sentenced to prison for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, faces arrest if he sets foot in the United States and could not attend the Oscar ceremony on Sunday night.
His statement did not mention his legal troubles or raise the prospect of working in Hollywood once again.
“The Pianist” is based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish musician who survived Nazi-occupied Warsaw, but it also draws heavily on Polanski’s own childhood Holocaust experiences.
The 69-year-old director was born in France to Jewish parents but returned to Poland before World War II, during which time his mother died in a concentration camp.
“The Pianist,” which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, also earned its star, Adrien Brody, an Oscar for best actor.
Polanski was previously nominated for directing the 1974 film “Chinatown” and the 1979 drama “Tess” and received a screenwriting nomination for “Rosemary’s Baby.”