"The whole country was paralysed," he recalls. "And when the festival was stopped all those people were stuck in Cannes and they could not return. I remember that many of the guests were picked up by Sam Spiegel on his boat. It was like a second Exodus."
Those who did stay remained to fight it out, literally. "The stage in front of the screen was full of people fighting, those who wanted to stop the festival and those who said it must continue," Polanski says, "and the projection was going on on top of them. It was like the Lanterna Magica where there is the projection and life, both." Memories are made of this.