HBO’s Allen v. Farrow, is a four-part HBO documentary series by Dylan Farrow by acclaimed filmmakers Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick that delves into sexual abuse allegations against Woody Allen.
The film traverses an Everest of evidence; archival photos, court documents, police investigation files, social workers’ notes as well as interviews with Dylan and Mia Farrow, speaking publicly first time in decades. There is also Dylan’s brother, journalist Ronan Farrow plus cultural, psychological and legal experts.
In August 1992, at age seven, Dylan says that her adoptive father, director Woody Allen, sexually assaulted her in an attic.
Fast forward to the present and in the court of public opinion and you either you believe Allen and adopted son, Moses (who was present for the alleged assault) or you believe Dylan and Mia.
Or you’re on the fence. After watching this, you might change your mind.
As the filmmakers listened to Dylan recall her memories and its ongoing trauma, they say they were impressed by
“how strong [Dylan’s] interview was…
How so much of her life had played out in the public, and was debated in the public, and how she was disbelieved.”
A never-before-seen video of Dylan recounting the alleged assault, shot by Farrow is featured. There has been a decades-long debate as to whether the Dylan was telling the truth or if Farrow coached her responses. Ziering said,
“It took a long time for Dylan to feel comfortable and safe sharing that video.”
Dylan wrote in a 2017 op-ed for the LA Times,
“I told the truth to the authorities then, and I have been telling it, unaltered, for more than 20 years.
Allen’s pattern of inappropriate behaviour – putting his thumb in my mouth, climbing into bed with me in his underwear, constant grooming and touching – was witnessed by friends and family members.”
Dylan told Elle last week,
“It’s crazy that for some people, the idea that I was brainwashed is somehow easier to swallow than child sexual abuse.”
Allen has repeatedly denied the allegations saying in response to Dylan’s 2018 CBS interview,
“Even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past.
I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”
Dylan’s brother Moses Farrow, in a 2018 blogpost, accused his mother of slapping him repeatedly as a child, dragging physically and emotionally disabled siblings down stairs, and “brainwashing”. He accused Dylan and Mia of lying, and claimed the train set she remembered fixating on during the alleged assault was a detail added to make her story more credible. (A 1992 police sketch of the attic presented in the series includes a model train set track).
Moses did not cooperate with the film and, of course, neither did Allen or his wife, Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn,
Farrow recounts in the documentary finding a “stack of Polaroid pictures” of Soon-Yi in Allen’s possession.
“I remember struggling to breathe.”
The trailer teases that the series will outline details of the case, that have remained private until now – including like Dylan’s original testimony.
Allen v Farrow premieres today on HBO & HBO Max.
(Photos; HBO; via The Guardian)