Dylan Farrow bravely tells her story of sexual abuse at the hands of her father Woody Allen when she was seven years old. This series is a must watch for anyone who wants to know about the experiences of survivors, displaying how strong they are and how they must be believed.
By Maia Pagán
Allen V Farrow is a four-episode miniseries on HBO chronicling Mia Farrow and Woody Allen's relationship and life with her 12 children. The show centers around Farrow’s daughter Dylan’s accusations of molestation at the hands of Allen when she was seven years old. This series reviews the constant injustice women face when reporting sexual assaults and the lack of belief and support, especially when the person who committed the crime is famous, has lots of money and is a white man. Add the recognition as a prominent and renowned director in New York, and justice is severely hindered.
At the beginning of their relationship, Farrow shares how Allen had zero interest in her children, and he just wanted to be with her. She followed along, thinking the separation would give her adult time with her boyfriend and kept their homes separate, at least for a while. As the relationship grew, so did Farrow's family, and she planned to adopt another child. Allen asked if this time she could not adopt from another country; instead, he would like a beautiful blonde hair blue-eyed little girl. Dylan Farrow was adopted, and Woody's obsession with her took on an unhealthy, obsessive, and often inappropriate relationship. Dylan thought all daddies were like him until she met her friends' fathers, and she tried to create more space between them. He hovered over Dylan, and friends and family started to warn Farrow that this behavior was disturbing.
While this is all going on, Allen began having a secret affair with one of Farrow's children, Soon Yi Priven who was then 17 and in high school. She was underage, and Allen was a father figure to her. The affair was found out by Farrow when she found naked photos of Soon Yi at Woody Allen's apartment. Unfortunately, the story only becomes worse. Allen hired a team of private investigators to follow Farrow and began taping their conversations. Farrow became aware of his tapings and decides to tape her conversations with him. After Dylan was interviewed nine times by the New Haven Hospital team, the notes were destroyed against all protocols. The smear campaign started against Farrow, saying that she was an abusive mother, and Allen tried to take custody of the three children. Allen's legal team uses "parental alienation," a process through which a child becomes estranged from a parent due to the psychological manipulation of another parent. However, the parental alienation system has no scientific evidence still used in court today.
The miniseries documentary is from award-winning investigative filmmakers Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, and Amy Herdy. Dylan believes that she was able to find her voice in the #Metoo movement. She felt the pain and humiliation suffered by so many women by men like Harvey Weinstein. With Weinstein's arrest, she courageously spoke out to the societal failures of America's rape culture. She wrote an open letter with the support of her brother and mother. She shared her story and the parallels to Harvey Weinstein and other sexual predators in Hollywood. She questioned the Tribute to Woody Allen on television; she wrote that Hollywood figures have turned a "blind eye" to the accusations and specifically asked Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, and Louis C.K. -- who appear in Blue Jasmine -- "What if it had been your child"?
Allen still denies to this day the accusations from Dylan about her molestation. Jeffrey Epstein's best friend Allen has never been formally charged. Watch the HBO series to find out why and so much more. I will never watch a Woody Allen film again. I hear you, Dylan Farrow, and I believe you and thank you for speaking up for millions of women whose voices have been silenced.
Melanie Moyer '22,