Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Warning: Sensitive subject matter regarding the sexual abuse of a minor is briefly mentioned below. Reader discretion is advised.
Allen v Farrow is a riveting and controversial four-part documentary miniseries. The series delves deeper into the very public case of American director Woody Allen being accused of sexually assaulting his seven-year-old adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. The incident was said to have taken place on the August 2, 1992 at actress Mia Farrow’s home in Connecticut. Even though Allen and Farrow were together for 12 years they were never married and kept separate residences.
The documentary features intimate interviews with actress Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow, and Ronan Farrow (Mia’s son), as well as archival media video clips, Farrow’s home movies, rare pictures and, since both Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn declined to be interviewed, his side is supported by using audio excerpts from his memoir “Apropos of Nothing”. At the time when the scandal broke out in addition to the allegations of sexual abuse of his daughter Dylan, Allen revealed that he was in love with and secretly having an affair with Farrow’s eldest daughter, 21-year-old Soon-Yi Previn. Soon-Yi was adopted by Farrow and ex-husband, musician André Previn. Their marriage ended in 1979 and she began dating Allen.
Woody Allen is one of the most prolific American directors with more than 50 films under his belt, all of which he also wrote. He has also appeared in more than 50 movies as well. But how does one draw the line between art and what a person is in their private life? There are always two sides to a story and my main question here is what does Dylan or Mia Farrow have to gain from fabricating the truth? You kind of have to read between the lines here and draw your own conclusions.
The #MeToo Movement has made it possible for many victims of sexual abuse and sexual harassment to finally have a voice without fear of judgement, especially when it comes to accusing someone who is held with high esteem in the public’s view or a person with the monetary means to hire people to cover their tracks.
Dylan Farrow, who is now 35-years-old and with a family of her own, is unrelenting in her accusations of her father’s abuse. The documentary is a great insight into what started off as a disturbing obsession by Woody Allen to his daughter Dylan that quickly turned into allegations of sexual abuse. From Allen’s own words you can begin to paint the picture of a narcissistic, eccentric man with controlling behaviour who has a secret obsession with young girls.
It also explores the ugly side of child custody battles and the use of one’s power and financial stature in order to affect the legal outcome of a situation. It is absolutely gut-wrenching to see how scarred Dylan is by her experience at the hands of a man that she loved and trusted. Mia Farrow may not have been a picture-perfect mother, but she tried to make a difference in those adopted children’s lives. What remains most important is the fact that she listened to her daughter when it mattered the most and tried to do something about it. She remains a constant support to Dylan and still blames herself for bringing Allen into their lives.
Since Dylan Farrow’s open letter was published back in 2014 and her interview on CBS in 2018 many actors and actresses have come out to publicly apologise to her for working with Allen. It has affected the release of his movies in America starting with the 2019 movie A Rainy Day in New York which was dropped by Amazon and released in Europe.
In my humble opinion if you want to take a stand, I don’t think that there is even a way to separate the person from their art. Although one can argue that some of the most talented people in history led controversial lives. We know for example Charles Dickens was a heavy drinker and abused his wife frequently, and Pablo Picasso physically abused his models and held a lit cigarette to one woman’s cheek when she tried to leave him. But then where does it end? Can we continue to support them because they are viewed as phenomenal artists in their fields and just ignore the fact that they were monsters? Something to ponder on.
Returning to the docuseries, it is a real eye opener and it would definitely give the viewer much to think about.
Alice’s Score: 7.5 out of 10
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook where you’ll get my reviews hot off the press. You can also find me on Instagram as alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For my extended bio you can click here.