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Adele Haenel, Cesar Awards
courtesy of Instagram/@adelehaenel

Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s Adèle Haenel protests Roman Polanski win

The actress walked out after the filmmaker was awarded Best Director at the César Awards, despite sexual abuse allegations

Roman Polanski didn’t attend this year’s César Awards (otherwise known as the French Oscars), apparently fearing he’d be “lynched” by activists protesting the ongoing celebration of his work, despite a past conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and ongoing allegations of sexual abuse.

However, that didn’t stop the filmmaker winning Best Director at the awards show, for his film An Officer and a Spy, which deals with a falsely-accused man being persecuted over decades in the 19th century (subtle).

The win wasn’t without opposition either, though. The Portrait of a Lady on Fire actress Adèle Haenel walked out of the ceremony when Polanksi’s win was announced, as did several other attendees including the film’s director, Céline Sciamma.

Haenel was also heard in the lobby, declaring: “Bravo paedophilia!”

Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, meanwhile, won one award at the event, for Best Cinematography, and also featured in the list of Dazed’s best films of 2019. The film that tops that list, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, also took home Best Foreign Film at this year’s César Awards.

Watch video of the walkout below.