Woody Allen’s long (and on-going) battle to clear his name of being a child molester and sexual abuser is once again dragged out into the open in what is probably the most detailed level ever in this exclusive HBO documentary Allen v Farrow. There is so much to cover that this needed 4 featured length episodes each running approximately an hour with the final episode clocking in at just below 85 minutes!
However like most documentaries (or interviews), the subject matter is often dealt with in a one sided manner. The documentary opens with an introduction to Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Allen and Farrow. Right from the start she begins to sow the seeds to Woody’s alleged sexual assault by recalling Woody’s unusually intense attachment to her when she was a child whenever he was in the house. It quickly becomes obvious to the viewer then that this series is going to be very one-sided. Film makers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering tries to justify the one-sidedness by saying that neither Woody Allen or his wife agreed to be interviewed. So what we have is just Mia’s side of the story and what a story she spins!! If I watch this series without knowing anything about the case and stories behind this, I would be convinced that Woody Allen did indeed commit all the hideous and unspeakable acts on the young victims. And that he deserves the backlash from the industry and people in the business who have turned their backs on him and boycott his films and works.
But, every story of injustice, has two sides. This series just doesn’t bother to provide any facts that supports Woody’s claims. In this respect, despite its high production values and the addictive nature of how the documentary is being presented to the viewers, Allen v Farrow ultimately is a disservice to the viewer simply because of its biasness. When a documentary that covers a story that is so compelling and yet so one sided, I have no choice but to Google for more information to fill in the gaps. Just a simple search reveals a lot of shocking information about Mia’s family that raises a lot of questions on her credibility. Mia has 14 children, 10 adopted and 4 biological. Of these, 3 of her adopted children died young. Two of her children committed suicide and another died of illness and drug addiction. One of her adopted sons Moses Farrow had written testaments supporting Woody and accusing Mia of physical abuse to several of her adopted kids when they were young. Mia had two siblings, and one of them was found guilty of sexual misconduct with minors while the other committed suicide! These facts raises a lot of questions as to the mental health of Mia and her treatment of her adopted kids. The documentary shows us a very different picture of a family that is always happy and playing and doing things together. Knowing the facts now just makes these scenes seem fake and staged or edited out of context.
After my search in the internet I realised that we are no closer to learning the truth. Only Allen and Farrow knows. This documentary is recklessly bias and geared towards causing maximum damage to Woody’s reputation (again). Somebody is lying, and lying big time. I for one, will not be so quick to point the finger at Woody Allen based on the facts that we have before us. If anything, the desperation for Mia and Dylan to show such a one sided documentary that paints themselves as such good and perfect human beings while disregarding vital information that may discriminate them, tells a lot. I do not fault Dylan Farrow as she was practically thrown to the scandal when she was a very tender age. Watching her relate her story on camera is heartbreaking because in all likelihood she isn’t lying but honestly believes what she says. Whether she was coached or brainwashed at the younger tender age, only Mia Farrow knows.
This documentary reminds a bit of the recent Megan Markle interview with Oprah. Watching that was super entertaining but it was also unscrupulously bias and one-sided. Similarly Allen v Farrow is super entertaining but also super one sided. The key difference is in the case of Mia and Dylan, they have successfully raised a reasonable level of doubt. However in the case of Megan interview, it was easier for the viewer to form an opinion on who the liar is. I guess if I were to award someone with his or her acting capability, I would say “.. the Best Actress award goes to …. Mia!”