Marina Zenovich investigates the notorious statutory rape case against film director Roman Polanski, which resulted in his fleeing the U.S. in 1978, never to return. Polanski confessed to having seduced a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot at Jack Nicholson’s house, and he negotiated a lenient plea bargain for unlawful sexual intercourse. But according to defense attorney Douglas Dalton (breaking a 30-year silence on the case) and prosecutor Roger Gunson, the filmmaker was double-crossed by Judge Laurence J. Rittenband, a publicity hound whose misconduct ultimately got him removed from the case. Zenovich is highly sympathetic to Polanski, surveying his tragic history (his parents were killed by the Nazis, his wife by the Manson family) and letting interviewees cast aspersions on the victim and her mother. Whether you can swallow that or not, the mesmerizing narrative recounts a media circus of unrivaled malignance. 99 min.