Culture & Society News Poland

Oscar-nominated US cinematographer released after alleged assault in Poland

Warsaw, Poland – Matthew Libatique, the Oscar-nominated American cinematographer behind Black Swan and A Star is Born, has been released without charges from jail in Poland, his Warsaw-based attorney announced on Friday. He was arrested earlier last week on suspicion of assault against police officers and paramedics in the city of Bydgoszcz, where he attended the EnergaCamerimage festival of cinematography.

According to local reports, M. Libatique was arrested on Tuesday morning after he became abusive toward a paramedic called by a witness who had seen him staggering out of an inn.

A spokeswoman for regional police force, who couldn’t release the suspect’s full name for legal reasons, announced that “American cinematographer Matthew L. was charged on Wednesday with violating the bodily inviolability of police officers and paramedics”.

“The man began a physical struggle with paramedics and then used vulgar terms to insult them. When police arrived, he repeated his behaviour toward them”, she told AFP reporters, who later confirmed his exact identity.

His attorney said that he was released from jail without a fine, but prosecutors might still push for charges to be filed this week. The assault charge in question carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison in Poland.

According to local media outlet Wyborcza, the prosecutor opposed the release and requested detention and a fine of 10.000 zlotys. He stressed the importance of penalties to ensure public servants’ safety while carrying out their duty.

Matthew Libatique, 50, was born in New York City and is the son of Filipino immigrants. He was nominated for an Oscar for his work as a cinematographer on Black Swan in 2010. M. Libatique collaborated on many of Darren Aronofsky’s other movies, including Pi (1998), Requiem for a Dream (2000) and Mother! (2017), and was also the director of photography of Inside Man (2006), Iron Man (2008) and Money Monster (2016).

More recently, he’s known for his work on Marvel’s Venom, starring Tom Hardy, and A Star is Born, directed by Bradley Cooper and co-starring Lady Gaga.

He has also shot music videos for the likes of Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Tracey Chapman and Moby.