Polanski Pays Tribute To ‘oldest Friend’ Morgenstern

click image to enlarge
September 13, 2011 | 2:15pm EST

Director Roman Polanski is mourning the death of his “oldest friend”, Polish filmmaker Janusz Morgenstern, who passed away last week.
The producer and director died on 6 September at the age of 89. Morgenstern made his name directing films Goodbye, See You Tomorrow (1960), Jowita (1967) and We Have to Kill this Love (1972).

His funeral was held in Warsaw on Monday and Polanski was on hand to pay a touching tribute to his late pal, who he’d met while they were both students at the Lodz film school in Poland.

Speaking at the televised memorial, Polanski said, “For me, he was not a representative of the Polish film industry. He was simply my oldest friend. I just want to say to him: ‘Goodbye, my friend’.”

The Rosemary’s Baby director, who was born in France but raised in Poland, made the appearance just days after shunning an invitation to attend the Venice Film Festival in Italy, where his new movie Carnage had its world premiere earlier this month.

His decision was reportedly based on the legal battle which ensued after he was arrested at the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland in 2009. He subsequently fought extradition to the U.S. to face court proceedings linked to a 1977 sex case.

He was allowed to walk free following several months of jail time and house arrest at his Swiss chalet after the extradition bid fell apart.

Polanski was able to attend the funeral of Morgenstern because officials in both Poland and France have promised not to extradite him.