Filmmakers see Woody Allen Abuse allegations in a four-part series

Documentary filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Zeering shed light on allegations of sexual abuse in institutions such as the military, over the past decade. “Invisible war” (2012); Colleges, in “Hunting ground” (2015); And the music industry, in “On the Record” (2020). He has now accused Dylan Farrow of decades-old sexual abuse allegations against his adopted father, Woody Allen.

“Ellen V. Farrow” is a four-part documentary set to debut later this month that takes viewers to the experience of accusing a famous and powerful man of abuse, but details of that case Also gives what has not been shared cum folk.

Initially, Farrow’s story did not coincide with Dick and Zeering’s usual wide-ranging investigation, but the filmmakers found that it offered an opportunity to discuss family abuse and incest, a topic that survivors have consistently asked both Told to deal with.

“I was haunted by these stories,” Zeering said. “She is the third rail. Nobody talks about this. “

However, everyone talks about Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. The one-time Hollywood power couple was together for 12 years. Having never married and had separate residences, they made 13 films together, adopted two children (Dylan and Moses) and had Another (Satchel, who changed his name to Ronan after his parents split). They were discussing the city until it crashed in 1992. Over the course of eight months, Farrow discovered nude photos of her then college daughter Soon-Yi Previn in Allen’s apartment; That summer, 7-year-old Dylan said Allen sexually assaulted her. Those allegations led to an ugly custody battle and a family break up permanently. Ellen has consistently denied the allegations, and after investigations in Connecticut and New York, she was not charged with a crime.

With the media focused on the scandal for so many years, Dick said he felt he knew the story and was initially reluctant to delay further. “It was covered very widely and a lot of our work goes into new cases,” he said. “But when we joined it, we found that there is a lot more. We pivoted as we realized that the whole story had never come out. “

The filmmakers, along with producer Amy Herdy, who led the investigation, spent three years tracking court documents and police reports and conducting extensive interviews with several witnesses who had never spoken before the public.

Set to begin February 21 on HBO, the series features home videos shot by Mia Farrow as her children were growing up in Connecticut, and the audio recorded some conversations she had with Allen. And, for the first time, we saw a videotape of 7-year-old Dylan shot by Farrow in the immediate wake of the allegations. The tape has become something of a hot button over the past two decades, with one side as proof of her veracity and on the other as proof that Farrow coaching her daughter in her response. The filmmakers have also raised questions about an important report released by the Yale Child Sexual Abuse Clinic at Yale-New Haven Hospital, which found Dylan unreliable after interviewing the child nine times during a seven-month period.

Neither Allen, Soon-Yi Previn nor Moses Farrow participated in the documentary. (The majority of Farrow’s other surviving children did.) He declined to comment in response to the series, which he has yet to see.

I asked Dick and Zeering why they decided to join it. Excerpts from our conversation are edited below.

For so long, this story has been depicted as a picture of what he told — a family drama that many people declare, “We will never know the truth.”

AMY Ziring As you get closer, you see that he said, he said, he said, he said, he said, he said [whispered], He said, he said, he said, he said. But we did not know that. Nobody knew about it. When you are achieving this resonance room of a certain perspective and a certain narrative, you are not realizing the source. It was interesting as we unpacked it. And when we started listening to the “she said” part and fact-checking the “she said” part, it became very interesting.

Ever since the #MeToo movement began, Allen was delisted in several ways: Amazon canceled the deal for its multiple-picture film. His latest film has still not received US distribution. His memoir was supported by the first publisher. Some actors have said that they will not work with him. Now why exclude this documentary?

Zering Our aim is never about the culprit. It is more about all of us understanding these crimes, the way we are understanding that we are all complicit to these crimes and I mean all of us, both in a way and inadvertently. Also how do you talk about something that happens all the time in America and no one feels comfortable talking about it? This is not a full exploration of that. This is a way to get people to start thinking about that.

Gender Like “On the Record”, where people get to experience what happens when someone decides to come forward and what happens immediately thereafter, it gets inside the experience of the people involved. Therefore it is not about someone who is accused.

Whether by the media, or by Alan himself, Farrow has long been portrayed as somewhat unstable? Was your perception of him going into it and did it change?

Gender All I want to say is that the suspicion and criticism of mothers in this society in general is just a proof of the evil practice. People like to “blame” mothers for everything. So from the beginning, I was very skeptical of that story because it is a mythic tale – the idea of ​​a mad woman, a mad woman. Not only in cases of adultery, which it is often excluded, but also in cases of sexual harassment. I was very skeptical to hear this.

Zering Amazing testament [to Farrow] And people will watch their children’s home videos Mia for a lifetime. We got a lot of love and appreciation from her about her qualities as a mother.

Was Dylan reluctant to give you his tape at the age of the tape that had been at the center of this controversy for so long?

Zering It took Dylan a long time to share that video seamlessly and securely. And once he shared it, there were parameters about whether he would be okay with us actually using it. It was incremental. We are not contributing to anyone else’s pain.

At the end of the documentary, Mia states that she is still afraid of Woody, genuinely concerned about what she will do when she sees this series. Then, why did he decide to participate? What was his purpose?

Zering She did not want to be a part of it. He did this for his daughter Dylan. In fact, in the interview you see him inside, he is in my shirt. I really had to borrow a shirt from someone else and give him my shirt because when he showed up, he didn’t want to do the interview, he was so sad. what was she wearing? I do not even remember.

He said, “My daughter came to me, she said that it is important to me and I need to do it for you.” And he said: “I stand with my children. I am going to take the incoming fire. I do not know you, Amy. I do not know Kirby. I know your work I am left to do nothing. ”

In the series, the Yale-New Haven clinic is heavily scrutinized. Many times physicians interviewed Dylan with the fact that all the current interview notes from those sessions were destroyed when the final report was released. In your previous investigations into sexual exploitation, have you ever seen a situation where the notes were destroyed?

Gender I was not there. It is indeed shocking that the notes will be destroyed but this is one of the reasons why the whole story never unfolded. If everything was transparent then we did not make this series.

How soon did you try to reach Sui-Yi, Moses and Woody? Have you ever received a response from any of them?

Gender We definitely reached out. We were not expected to speak to them. If we were making a film about Woody Allen’s career, he probably wouldn’t talk to us. This did not surprise us.

Is there any danger of lawsuits or anything else from Alan Camp as you are putting it together?

Gender We are always careful about fact-checking. We are investigating about accuracy.

Zering As we have always been. We have never had to withdraw any facts. It would have been an easy lift legally if we had adopted a book or done a story about someone who was already guilty. That way, you are not in front of a moving train. But we actually walk in front of moving trains, unfortunately. So the only thing that can save us is to be truthful and very careful. We are not dead yet.

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