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But his “other” new film _ the memoir _ was kept secret by Zurich’s film organizers. The film recounts his Polish roots and includes footage of World War II and the Nazi invasion of Poland interspersed with scenes from “The Pianist.”

The documentary by Laurent Bouzereau is based on interviews with Polanski during his house arrest two years ago, and begins with shots of the Swiss prison that Polanski was incarcerated at, as well as photos of his chalet in the chic resort of Gstaad in the Swiss Alps.

By turns funny and sad, wistful and horrified, Polanski recounts a kaleidoscope of memories, such as seeing a woman shot in the back by a Nazi, his running away from a Nazi soldier shooting at him, and being reunited with his father and seeing the wall in Warsaw first being built.

Polanski talks about his mother’s death, the pain of his father remarrying another woman, and their visit to him in Gstaad where his father cried upon hearing music that reminded him of children being loaded into train barracks to be exterminated.

“It was an Apocalyptic, surrealistic vision,” Polanski recalled of the moment.

Polanski said he watched films so he could read subtitles: “I started really learning to read in the cinema,” he said.

British actress Alice Eve, a juror for the film festival, said she wasn’t sure if attendance at the Polanski award ceremony could be considered a political statement.

“If it is, then I’m happy to be part of it. Because I do believe that he has paid for his crime, and he’s also good at what he does, and the celebration isn’t undue,” she said of Polanski.

Over 45,000 visitors are expected to attend the seventh installment of the film festival in Switzerland’s biggest city that includes ten world premieres and runs through Oct. 2.