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August 30, 2019 2:36 pm

Clip From Roman Polanski’s Dreyfus Affair Film ‘An Officer and a Spy’ Shows Violent Altercation

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Jean Dujardin in ‘An Officer and a Spy.’ Photo: Screenshot.

Footage was released of Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski’s new movie “An Officer and a Spy” ahead of the film’s premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival on Friday.

The French-language film is based on the infamous Dreyfus Affair, which began in 1894 when French-Jewish military officer Alfred Dreyfus was falsely convicted of spying for Germany and sentenced to life at Devil’s Island prison.

The film revolves around French actor Jean Dujardin’s character Georges Picquart, a French officer and head of army intelligence who discovered evidence proving that Dreyfus was framed. Picquart, risking his career and life, fought for a decade to free the wrongly-convicted Dreyfus.

Polanski’s film is adapted from the 2013 book of the same name by Robert Harris, who co-wrote the script. The Oscar-winning director could not travel to Italy for the premiere because of an outstanding US warrant for his arrest, after he fled the country in 1977 amid a sexual assault case.

Polanski said the film was timely because of its focus on antisemitism. He said, “Big stories often make great films, and the Dreyfus Affair is an exceptional story. The story of a man unfairly accused is always fascinating, but it is also very much a current issue, given the upsurge in antisemitism.”

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