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‘Canceled’ directors Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Luc Besson premiered new movies at Venice Film Festival. Here’s how their attempted comebacks were received.

Of the most influential people in the film world, you’ll find fewer sympathetic to “canceled” filmmakers than Alberto Barbera.


“I am on the side of those who say you have to distinguish between the responsibilities of the individual and that of the artist,” Barbera, the artistic director of the Venice Film Festival, told Variety in July.


In the interview, Barbera defended his instantly controversial decision to have the 2023 edition of the venerable Italian festival, running Aug. 30 to Sept. 9, feature new projects from Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Luc Besson — all legendary filmmakers, all at some point accused of sexual predation, and all with careers that have flatlined, particularly in the wake of the industry’s 2017 #MeToo reckoning.