This dramatic account weaves together the rich and complex life of the celebrated and controversial film director, Holocaust survivor, and exile, based on a wealth of sources and new material. New revelations about Polanski's life include:
-- The connection between his mother's death in Auschwitz and wife Sharon Tate's murder by the Manson family—both women were pregnant
-- His radical transition from childhood poverty in a Krakow ghetto to a glamorous Hollywood life among socialites
-- The psychological complexity and central thread of sexuality that runs throughout his films and his relationships with younger women
-- A culmination of tragedies in Polanski's life, from the Holocaust to the Manson murders to his sexual assault charges and subsequent exile from the U.S.
The unique humor of the "rascal genius" that keeps the world watching and awaiting his new projects
Acclaimed biographer Sandford draws on dozens of interviews with actors who have worked with Polanski, as well as previously sealed transcripts of his criminal hearings, testimony before the California grand jury following the accusations that led to his exile, and personal reflections on the murders of Sharon Tate and other friends of the couple. Polanski's films from 1962 to 2005 are contextualized within his life, including such highlights as Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, and the Oscar-winning The Pianist. Sandford's fascinating biography illuminates the life and work of one of the most important careers in modern cinema.