The Oscar-nominated cinematographer of films like Requiem for a Dream and A Star is Born, Matthew Libatique, is facing four years in Polish prison after allegedly assaulting a first responder in 2018.
The New York Times reported that Libatique was arrested for getting in a physical altercation with a paramedic while attending the 2018 EnergaCamerimage Film Festival in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Libatique had allegedly been drinking that night, and following a recent increase in assault cases against paramedics in Poland, the country’s top law enforcement official, National Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro, took special interest in the case. Ziobro reportedly encouraged prosecutors to “demand much more severe penalties” in similar cases.
Although Libatique admits to drinking that night, he now claims he “can remember nothing about his collapse or what followed,” and believes he was intentionally drugged. The cinematographer’s defense lawyer argued that the government is improperly meddling in the case. “I’m basically guilty until proven innocent,” Libatique said from his home in Los Angeles. “It scares me.”
The trial is scheduled to start in February. The New York Times reports that he’s expecting to be allowed to testify from the United States by video.
Libatique is best known for his work with director Darren Aronofsky on films like Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan and Pi. He’s also currently working on Olivia Wilde’s sophomore feature, Don’t Worry Darling.