Updated February 22, 2021, 4:31 pm
- Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, claims she was abused and sexually molested by the director in 1992 while she was a child.
- In the new HBO documentary “Allen v. Farrow”, Dylan and her adoptive mother Mia Farrow raise serious allegations that previously unpublished home videos are shown and recorded phone calls are played.
- The documentary is reminiscent of the Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland” and could spark similar discussions.
The re are two things that shape Woody Allen’s public perception. On the one hand, there is the director who brought the film world some masterpieces. And on the other hand, the private individual, against whom abuse allegations are made.
Woody Allen hit the headlines with his private life in 1992 when his long-time partner Mia Farrow discovered nude photos of her then 21-year-old adoptive daughter on the director’s premises. Allen then confessed to having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, who was almost 35 years his junior, he later married her and is still with her today.
The separation from Farrow turned into a mud fight, including a court custody battle. In the course of this August 1992 trial, Dylan Farrow, then seven years old, alleged that her adoptive father Allen had abused and sexually molested her.
Medical experts came to the conclusion that the girl had not been sexually abused, but at the same time Allen was denied the right to visit Dylan in the custody process, as the prosecutor wanted to see evidence of abuse.
The case was never finally resolved. Allen managed to successfully continue his career as a filmmaker and largely separate his private problems from his professional life.
The now grown-up Dylan Farrow renewed the abuse allegations again and again in recent years, Allen always rejected them firmly. He says the adopted daughter was trained by Mia Farrow to make the allegations because his ex-partner is jealous of his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn.
Documentation “Allen v. Farrow” burdens Woody Allen heavily
The first episode was broadcast on Sunday in the USA, when it will be shown in Germany is open.
But it is already clear that the documentary will put the now 85-year-old Allen in distress. “I was always in his clutches, I was always on the run,” Dylan Farrow recalls.
A home video shot by Mia Farrow with a camcorder in 1992, in which seven-year-old Dylan talks about how Allen allegedly touched and abused her in the attic of the family home in Connecticut, is shown publicly for the first time.
“I didn’t want that, mom. I didn’t want him to do that,” the girl says into the camera. Allen is said to have spent 20 minutes alone with Dylan, although according to mother Mia the nannies were instructed not to leave him alone with her.
In the interviews recorded for the documentary, Dylan and Mia Farrow and the other siblings and friends of the family also provide further details.
Woody Allen himself was not available for interviews
Woody Allen himself does not have a say in the documentation. He declined interview requests, as did his wife Soon-Yi. And so his voice can only be heard in old press conferences, in excerpts from his biography and in phone calls that Mia Farrow recorded and which are now also published in the documentation.
“Tell me where have you been in those 20 minutes,” Farrow asks urgently. “All the details and the truth will come to light when the time is right,” replies Allen cryptically.
It is also alleged that Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi began when Soon-Yi was in high school. And of course it is also mentioned that in Woody Allen’s films, for example in “Manhattan”, the relationships between much older men and very young women are discussed again and again.
“Allen v. Farrow” is reminiscent of the Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland”
The Hunting Ground”, a documentary about rape and abuse at US universities. For “Allen v. Farrow” they collected documents and files for three years and conducted interviews.
The result is reminiscent of “Leaving Neverland”, the documentary about Michael Jackson’s alleged child abuse, also produced by HBO. Like “Leaving Neverland”, “Allen v. Farrow” is shot completely from the perspective of the alleged victims.
The nail in the coffin of Allen’s legacy” is the headline of the Los Angeles Times, referring to the documentary. Most of the press coverage in the US goes in a similar direction.
The re was intense discussion around the world about how to deal with Jackson’s musical work. “Allen v. Farrow” could trigger similar discussions for Woody Allen’s films.
- Los Angeles Times: “HBO’s devastating ‘Allen v. Farrow’ is a nail in the coffin of Woody Allen’s legacy”
- rogerebert.com: “Review ‘Allen v. Farrow'”
- chicago.suntimes.com: “‘Allen v. Farrow’ recalls the scandals with new comments, old phone calls”
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