After placing music mogul Russell Simmons in checkmate with their documentary On the Record, which drew plenty of controversy previous to its 2019 Sundance premiere with Apple and producer Oprah Winfrey subtracting themselves from the undertaking, Oscar-nominated filmmakers Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick set their sights on Woody Allen and the long-standing sexual baby abuse accusations made in opposition to the Oscar-winning auteur by daughter Dylan Farrow and former associate Mia Farrow within the four-part HBO docuseries Allen v. Farrow which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday.
The documentary already has been criticized for being one-sided, however Ziering and Dick clarify their reasoning beneath. Despite reaching out to Allen in addition to Soon-Yi Previn — his spouse and Farrow’s adopted daughter — the filmmakers clarify that Allen v. Farrow is about giving a voice to Dylan and Mia Farrow, whose facet, they declare, has been mowed down repeatedly by the Allen PR machine for the previous 30 years. The docu investigates how the once-press-shy Allen obtained in entrance of the Soon-Yi Previn-Dylan Farrow scandal within the early ’90s, and was capable of boldly transmit his narrative by press conferences and granting large interviews, i.e. with 60 Minutes. Allen v. Farrow is a chilling reminder of how superstar energy and wealth could make puppets of the justice system, not in contrast to the affect of such titans as Donald Trump, Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.
‘Allen V. Farrow’ Trailer: ‘On The Record’ Documentary Team Dig In To Scandal
Also lacking from the documentary is the voice of Mia Farrow’s adopted son Moses, who’s a therapist and wrote a scathing, 4,600-word essay in May 2018 defending Allen in opposition to sexual assault allegations and describing “a deep and persistent darkness within the Farrow family” that concerned abuse from his mom. Ziering and Dick reached out to Moses, who opted to not be a part of the docuseries. Allen’s facet is voiced within the movie by the audiobook of the filmmaker’s current autobiography Apropos of Nothing, by which the four-time Oscar winner defends himself.
The docuseries serves up unheard cellphone calls between Mia Farrow and Allen, who taped one another throughout their battle, in addition to the video that Mia took of Dylan as a baby by which she particulars how Allen molested her. It’s that video that lengthy has sparked controversy; Allen’s protection contends that the kid was coached by Farrow following his affair with Soon-Yi.
That mentioned, the docuseries’ juiciest bits are the way it fractures Allen’s longtime shields: a Yale New Haven Hospital Sexual Abuse Clinic report that cleared Allen of hurt, in addition to how the NYC Child Welfare Administration’s examination turned extraordinarily political, and within the filmmaker’s favor. The Yale New Haven report interviewed Dylan 9 instances, ruling that she couldn’t “distinguish fantasy from reality”.
Below is our intriguing dialog with Ziering and Dick:
DEADLINE: Before you locked print, and given that you just didn’t get entry to Woody Allen, Moses or Soon-Yi, was there ever any concern that the docuseries can be perceived as one-sided?
AMY ZIERING: Well, I believe you must take a look at the entire conceit of sides. I imply, truthfully. What’s fascinating or unusual about that to me is I take a look at it as what we did was an investigation and we sought the reality and we’re presenting the reality in an correct presentation of occasions. Whenever we get into this dialogue of sides, it’s all the time very unusual or peculiar to me, as a result of it’s a brand new occasion that’s occurred in current many years that basically wasn’t that prevalent again within the ’70s or ’80s, and I believe it’s a relic — truly a legacy of Fox News, which all the time, in fact, the irony was there. They’re honest and balanced, which it was something however.
What you do while you say we’d like “sides” is you go every thing is all about opinion. There’s no truth or fact. That’s what occurs while you say there’s sides to an argument. It’s like local weather change. If we’re going to speak about local weather change, we’ve got to get somebody who has the opposite facet of it. No, local weather change is an empirical truth. We don’t really want to listen to from a local weather change denier as a result of they’re speaking out of motives of revenue and curiosity. Exactly.
So, why am I telling you this complete backstory? Because everytime you go to felony circumstances or circumstances the place persons are charged they usually say you could hear either side, would it not be within the particular person’s curiosity who truly did one thing to speak? Would they be telling you the reality in the event that they talked? Is their facet “a side,” or is it a protection? So what I’m attempting to say is we did our due diligence. … Woody has put out this facet, which we checked out fastidiously and interrogated and investigated and tried to corroborate, and we’re presenting a strong case of details for the general public to now take a look at that they weren’t ever offered earlier than. So that’s how I take a look at it. I don’t like to take a look at this or consider it as we’re taking sides or we’re explaining one facet of it. We’re explaining what occurred, and it’s proper all there in entrance of you, and we’re displaying you the witnesses and the corroboration.
I suppose that’s what bothers me. I’m attempting to say it one other manner. If it have been any type of different type of crime, for those who’re in a automotive accident you don’t say, “I really want to hear the side from the driver that hit you.” You say, “Oh, you were hit by a car.” You wouldn’t query it or give it some thought or go, ‘Oh, my God, there’s an issue right here. You did a narrative a couple of automotive accident and also you didn’t actually discuss to the automotive driver.” It’s simply all the time peculiar to me. There’s an immense quantity of corroboration, testimony, eyewitness accounts, and so on., and but persons are throughout speaking about you didn’t actually hear a unique facet. I suppose that’s my lengthy reply.
KIRBY DICK: That was very well-stated. I simply need to add that we do have Woody’s perspective all the best way all through these theories. He wrote extensively about it in his memoir Apropos of Nothing after which in fact recorded it in an audiobook, and he talks about every thing … a lot of what the collection covers over the 4 episodes; his voice is in lots of, many instances in every episode speaking in regards to the points that we’re protecting. So you hear instantly from Woody Allen and his perspective on this all the best way all through the collection.
ZIERING: You’ve heard it for many years. You’ve heard it in an echo chamber, proper? I imply, we present that. All the footage was his narrative, which was amplified and echoed as an merchandise by the media, by his PR marketing campaign and by all of the ways in which his work was continued to be anointed and supported. I believe what’s curious to me is we welcomed it. Another factor that bothers me about these questions, too, is I’ve no canine on this race. I don’t care. I’ve no vested curiosity in making up one thing about Woody Allen. I’ve obtained higher issues to do with my time. I’m not simply fascinated by displaying a facet. I’m fascinated by investigating and displaying the reality. So if that is the presentation of the story, make of it what you’ll, nevertheless it’s the story of what occurred.
DEADLINE: There’s one thing chilling that Woody Allen says to Mia Farrow on the cellphone, ‘It’s not in regards to the fact, it’s what’s to be believed.’ What are your ideas on that?
ZIERING: I believe that claims every thing.
DICK: Yeah. Exactly. I believe that’s an excellent level. You hear his phrases additionally within the phone conversations, and as you identified, I imply, I believe what he’s telling her there may be … that is my impression of that: It appears to be what he’s saying in so many phrases is that “I have a lot of — I’m a powerful person with a lot of assets and I can put out a very powerful message from my side whether or not it’s the truth. I can put it out so that people believe it.” It learn to me as a menace, and I believe that type of menace is chilling to journalists, in fact, accurately. But it truly is chilling to our total public, and that’s one of many causes we truly made this collection as a result of we wished to look at the facility of superstar and the way superstar can, at instances, management the media.
I imply, I believe clearly superstar tradition and superstar has change into an increasing number of a think about our society during the last a number of many years. And wanting again to this case, this case is type of in some methods the place the facility of superstar was performed out 30 years in the past. So in some methods that is an early instance of what we’ve change into as a tradition.
ZIERING: I suppose I’d pull that again. That quote that you just simply pulled is mostly a good level we have been simply speaking about, and I’d simply invert it and say for me it issues what the reality is. It doesn’t matter what’s believed. So that goes again to our one facet/either side dialog. We’re presenting the reality, and we’re displaying you what everyone believed. You can come again and say, “I want to hear from the mythmaker side one more time,” you’ll be able to, however I don’t serve mythmakers.
DEADLINE: Your investigator Amy Herdy was the catalyst for this docuseries. What was the brand new proof on the market that she found since most of this was the in public gentle? Was it the Yale New Haven report? Was it the truth that the notes of that investigation have been shredded? Or was it the truth that Dylan and Mia Farrow have been prepared to return ahead with the tape the place the previous as a younger baby describes being molested by Woody Allen?
DICK: Well, it was actually type of the entire above. I imply, that’s one of many issues that was actually unbelievable about making this collection and dealing with Amy Herdy, who’s the producer who led the investigation. She’s far more than an investigator. She stored coming throughout new information, new paperwork, new proof that investigation had been lined up in addition to, in fact, you mentioned the tape, the house motion pictures, the phone calls. I imply, it grew to become simply this sort of cornucopia of fabric, of proof that we stored buying. Actually, it was a three-year investigation and we stored buying that. So a lot had been written about this case by so many journalists who didn’t have entry to all this as a result of, once more, Woody Allen managed it. I imply, he didn’t management the entry to it, however what the journalists obtained is kind of what he put out.
So, as Amy mentioned, this was a approach to get to the reality. Once you get to the underlying paperwork and the underlying proof, the story shifts dramatically.[EDITORS’S NOTE: Following our conversation, Ziering and Dick confirmed that the court documents combed over in the docuseries previously had been sealed.]
DEADLINE: The theme of the docuseries is that cash and energy can thwart justice. The Yale New Haven Clinic Study, which was commissioned by Connecticut state prosecutor Frank Maco, impulsively goes sideways and in Woody’s favor. Do we ever know why? Woody bigfoots the entire press convention.
DICK: We don’t.
ZIERING: No, we don’t. I imply, we’ve got our personal guesses.
DICK: We don’t know why. What we wished to do is take a a lot nearer take a look at their means of coming to their conclusion and among the procedures that they adopted and actually examined them and examined them critically as a result of they should be examined in that manner. We don’t know why. I imply it’s a query we will’t reply.
DEADLINE: It’s been reported that those that commit baby abuse, it’s by no means only one singular incident. There’s a couple of occasion. Was Allen’s case distinctive? Was there ever any proof to counsel that he abused different youngsters within the Farrow household?
DICK: It’s fascinating as a result of the query you requested we ask type of another way. Initially, I do know I did. It’s like, oftentimes, individuals who abuse, abuse a number of individuals and so we thought if Woody Allen has solely abused Dylan, is that this uncommon? Does this trigger us to lift questions? What we discovered in speaking to consultants is, no, truly it’s not unusual that just one baby is abused by an abuser. I can cross it to you, Amy, if you wish to go into slightly extra element on that.
ZIERING: Yeah, we regarded into that. Actually, it’s not atypical for a mother or father to solely select one baby. There’s benefits to that. Often predators, as a result of we talked to a predator skilled, they solely have a sure factor or kind that they like, in order that they’re merely not within the different youngsters and that isn’t anomalous. Also, they usually single out one younger baby as a result of that manner it’s a intelligent approach to shield them as a result of that baby — there can’t be a number of corroborations successfully. If you isolate them, it’s simpler to say this child’s making this up and not one of the different youngsters have an expertise that correlates, in order that they’re extra prone to imagine the predator than the kid.
DEADLINE: How did you get Dylan and Ronan aboard? I perceive that Ronan was hesitant about Dylan doing the documentary. How did she lastly come round?
ZIERING: I simply need to additionally make it clear, this wasn’t one thing about getting anyone aboard. We have been doing this and we have been simply fascinated by talking to whomever would communicate with us. So it wasn’t like we have been simply pursuing the Farrows. We have been pursuing it, so we have been pursuing the prosecutors, the social employees. We have been pursuing consultants. I imply, we have been very on this. So we have been fascinated by type of reinvestigating this case, and in the middle of which, we in fact did our due diligence and reached out to everybody concerned with it, as you’d think about — the Farrows as properly — and all of them have been resoundingly reluctant and flat-out “No” from most to Amy Herdy. Amy Herdy was the primary level of attain.
We simply first did an interview with Dylan, and she or he was caustic and we weren’t, at the moment, even doing this undertaking, per se. We have been type of pushing a number of initiatives. So I’m simply attempting to say that after we type of obtained extra invested and have been producing extra fascinating and novel angles to this and seeing this stuff that stunned us, Amy stored going again to the household and displaying them type of the rigorous work we have been doing, which they have been stunned by and impressed by as a result of nobody else had actually bothered to take the time. They additionally watched our different movies and noticed that we’re critical, we’re thorough, we’re considerate, we’re balanced. We don’t have an agenda or bias — which, in fact, they have been frightened about, given every thing that has been with the media.
So it was a unique step with every particular person, however Dylan first agreed to at least one interview after which that was it. Then after fairly a very long time, Mia agreed to an interview solely as a result of Dylan requested her. She actually didn’t need to do it in any other case. Same with Ronan. Ronan was extraordinarily reluctant all through and skeptical however then lastly agreed when he type of noticed the integrity of the investigative work we have been doing and felt that it will be an sincere and truthful illustration of details.
DICK: Just to make clear, by displaying, Amy means letting them know the extra information that we have been coming throughout in our investigation, so FYI. But in any other case, Amy’s illustration, that’s well-said.
DEADLINE: Ronan brings one thing up which works again to your level about “mythmakers” within the battle between Allen and Farrow. This goes again to Moses’ essay. He’s a therapist. Ronan brings up that there was a contingency on his faculty, that if he took Woody’s facet, that he would get faculty funding and be assured an excellent life.
ZIERING: I used to be astonished when he mentioned that in an interview, appropriate.
DEADLINE: Did Ronan reap a few of these advantages to a sure diploma? Or was there a turning level the place he flat-out mentioned no to Woody from the beginning — “I’m fine, Mom’s got this covered”?
ZIERING: You’d should ask Ronan. I don’t need to reply for Ronan. From what we understood in the middle of the interview, Ronan was type of shocked by that proposition and simply didn’t even entertain it. It wasn’t like, “I’m good, maybe I’ll take it if I need some cash.” It was like, “No, absolutely not. I can’t even relate to that request. I don’t even know how to process that.” But that’s extra aligned to what Ronan was telling us.
DEADLINE: Moses wrote a really lengthy essay and was very pointed. Then the household paints him as being unsuitable, in addition to Soon-Yi. Is the implication that Moses reaped the advantages of Dad and due to this fact that’s the facet he’s on, interval?
ZIERING: We don’t know. All we all know is after we’re leaving all this analysis we do know from interviewing members of the family and taking a look at letters and playing cards and issues that Moses had written that he was extraordinarily near the household for a really, very, very very long time after which solely dropped out a lot, a lot later. Even on the time of the incident, he had talked to press, and I believe you see within the movie he wrote that letter to Woody and he had spoken to press about how she’s a loving mom. I believe Dylan was a bridesmaid at his wedding ceremony and the entire household was very shut after which they weren’t.
So, there have been many years … I don’t need to say that. What is it, Kirby? Were there many years?
DICK: There have been many years.
ZIERING: There have been many years of time, the place Moses was very shut along with his mom, very shut along with his siblings, very a lot part of the household, after which it shifted a lot, a lot later and radically shifted. And that’s when he got here ahead with an entire new narrative about his previous. So make of that what you’ll.
DEADLINE: Now, Connecticut state prosecutor Frank Maco backed away from the case as a result of he didn’t need to put Dylan by this grueling means of being on the witness stand as a baby. In hindsight, does he have any regrets about this? Because the state of affairs that ensues is that legally Allen will get away. However, many years later, Dylan continues to be harm by this. It’s very arduous to query her perspective, which means that she was staged or coached by Mia. And but the prosecutor let this case go. Again, he had good intentions for her as a child, however in hindsight was there an enormous mistake made right here? I imply, superstar and energy reigned ultimately, sadly.
DICK: I believe he nonetheless appears like he made the best choice. I imply, that is an analysis that he has to make and when you may have a weak baby who’s already gone by so much and you may see the impact of it right this moment even. I believe he was skilled sufficient to know the way far more hurt this might doubtlessly trigger to her, and he simply actually didn’t need to put her by that. He nonetheless stands by that call right this moment, although he’s actually troubled by it as a result of he felt very assured he had a powerful case. But in the end, he needed to put the curiosity of the kid first on this case, and it was a troublesome choice to make. That’s one of many type of dramatic moments within the collection is when he will get again along with Dylan after practically 30 years. I imply, you’ll be able to nonetheless see that call haunts him although he felt like he made the best choice.
DEADLINE: Coming away from this docuseries are each of you left with extra questions on Allen v. Farrow, or do you suppose and not using a shadow of a doubt Allen is responsible?
DICK: I believe individuals have to look at and type of make up their very own thoughts. I imply, we expect that the burden of proof may be very, very robust in Dylan’s favor. I imply, that’s what struck us is there was a lot proof, a lot proof that hadn’t come out, a lot proof that had been lined up. It’s that when you may have the burden of proof, there’s a really, very robust case for the best way Dylan portrays issues. Again, that very same proof is the proof that the prosecutor noticed and that’s why the prosecutor felt like he additionally had a powerful case. Again, that’s one of many causes we made the collection was that that proof has by no means gotten out and it has by no means been clearly laid out as a result of Woody Allen was so efficient at even when little items of proof dribbled out right here and there, of making this spin machine that type of even when it was within the public it was obscured and the general public grew to become confused.
So sure, the burden of proof strongly helps Dylan’s perspective.
DEADLINE: Can Dylan pursue something legally in opposition to Woody?
ZIERING: I don’t know. You ought to analysis that.
DEADLINE: We’re going by an incredible diploma of cancel tradition proper now. Is this an excellent factor now that individuals aren’t judged by due course of and that the cacophony of headlines and social media ends individuals’s careers and lives?
ZIERING: Well, that’s like saying, “When did you last beat your wife?” I imply, “When did you stop beating your wife?” Is it actually the cacophony and jury-by-mob, or are there any fact-based issues that lead individuals to change their perspective on individuals? I imply, I believe all of those catchy little phrases like “cancel culture” can also be like … once more, again to that two-sides factor. You’re caught in that basically canny lure of getting these phrases find yourself truly being actually within the service of regressive politics. I imply, I don’t even need to take the bait and reply that type of a query as a result of it’s simply the legislation is a lot fact. Cancel tradition is correction tradition. It’s perhaps we lived in a tradition that was permission tradition or blind tradition or oppression tradition and perhaps that tradition must be canceled or known as into query.
So for those who begin calling issues into query, are you actually canceling them? If you begin not giving corridor passes to predators, is that canceling? I don’t suppose the mob — or no matter is now being pejoratively known as a mob — I don’t suppose individuals talking up in opposition to oppression after which individuals going, “Oh, maybe I don’t want to economically support this oppressor, especially when the people speaking up do have fair cases, do have evidence, do have valid claims.” I simply suppose it’s a slippery slope of them saying due course of isn’t being served.
The final thing I’ll say about that, let’s discuss who due course of has served. What is the statistic, Kirby? How many youngsters are despatched again to their fathers due to our misogynistic felony justice system — fathers who assault them. I imply, that’s a truth.
DICK: There’s a major proportion.
ZIERING: So let’s discuss this due course of you guys are all so involved about. Let’s discuss in regards to the incarceration of Black individuals. Where is their due course of? Everyone’s going to be up in arms about cancel tradition? Like that ideologically biased system that’s actually serving justice? You simply have to take a look at this stuff slightly extra fastidiously to not flash round these glib assessments and glib analyses that basically simply are creepy, frankly.
DICK: Let, me add, who’s story wasn’t heard right here?
ZIERING: Are you crying about Dylan’s?
DICK: This is among the issues that was so necessary about #MeToo, that it wasn’t solely the individuals coming ahead. It was the help that was provided for them as a result of it’s so arduous for any survivor to return ahead, irrespective of who they’re. What had occurred significantly earlier than #MeToo is they might come ahead individually and there wouldn’t be help. It can be very devastating even when they continued to return ahead. Other survivors would take a look at that and say, “Oh, no, I’m not going to go through that.” So the truth that Dylan got here ahead after which was supported by different individuals within the trade, that may be a good factor. That is an efficient factor. That’s brave for her to return ahead, and it’s brave for them to face by a survivor as a result of they’re supporting somebody who historically is. It’s historically people who find themselves in energy who’re silencing individuals who come ahead and they also’re supporting the little particular person, the particular person with out energy. That is an efficient factor.
ZIERING: Is there outrage that Mia was canceled? I imply, the place is that outrage? Post-Woody, for 3 many years she was canceled within the tradition. She was loopy. She didn’t get any jobs, was vindictive. I don’t hear anybody saying that there was no due course of for Mia. What we did for 3 many years, we canceled her. There was glee, and now white guys are getting known as out and out of the blue cancel tradition. F*ck that. What on Earth?!
DEADLINE: Social media is a harmful factor. There isn’t any nuance. There isn’t any syntax. I’m not saying let’s cast off free speech, however runaway freight trains usually can happen.
ZIERING: When you say that social media’s run amok, I additionally need to level out, and our collection is basically about the best way the mass media ran amok, too. Fox News is an efficient instance. You suppose you’re getting the entire story, however you’re truly getting a very managed narrative. I believe there’s pluses and minuses to social media. I do agree that we’re viral creatures after which that’s an issue as a result of if the unsuitable message will get amplified, as we’ve seen with QAnon; it’s extraordinarily harmful. But I additionally suppose that it’s naïve to suppose that mass media didn’t have its personal issues in type of, as we noticed, because the Woody case exemplifies. Not typically. I don’t need to seem to be — however in some circumstances as properly its personal biases had a sure toxicity.
DICK: If you need to go even broader from the media to our total society. I imply, one of many issues, once more, that #MeToo confirmed is that there have been these predators in energy for many years preying on [people], and society did nothing. I imply, who’s getting canceled there? I imply, actually hundreds of thousands of women and men who’re extra weak, their careers are stopped even earlier than they began. I imply, that was one of many central themes of On the Record is that Drew Dixon was this good government whose profession was destroyed due to what occurred to her. So perhaps there’s just a few individuals who you’ll be able to have a debate about who’re being mentioned on social media. But the far more necessary problem listed below are the hundreds of thousands of people that the predators are destroying their lives and destroying their careers — actually destroying their careers to such an extent that they don’t even have a chance to have a profession.