Feb 5, 2014

The tragedy of Dylan Farrow

Against my better judgement, I am posting a few reflections on the recent Woody Allen/Dylan Farrow controversy. I don't wish to repeat the story, for those interested it is widely available online and is only getting uglier by the minute, sad to say. For my own part, I remain on the fence, so to speak. It is not incredible at all to suspect Mr. Allen capable of some of the inappropriate acts suggested. The problem rests with the alleged incident in the attic, upon which the whole case rests. Unfortunately, there are simply too many credible witnesses who maintain that such an incident could not have taken place, among them both of the nannies in the house at the time and Dylan's brother, Moses Farrow.

Below is a comment I posted at the website Bilgrimage earlier today. Since posting this, I've since learned that Moses Farrow has become more explicit in his denials in a People Magazine article:

My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister," Moses Farrow, 36, told People Magazine. "And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi."

Of the alleged incident in the attic:

Moses Farrow said it never happened. "Of course Woody did not molest my sister," he told the magazine, which said he is estranged from Mia Farrow and close to Allen. "She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him. The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces. My mother was conveniently out shopping. I don't know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother. Pleasing my mother was very powerful motivation because to be on her wrong side was horrible.

And Moses, a family therapist, ends with these powerful words:

"I think my sister is missing a great deal in life in not reconnecting with her father, who had always adored her," he says. "It’s important that she assert her independence from our mother and not go through life with the false impression that she has been molested by my father. I am very happy I have come into my own power, separating from my mother, which has led to a positive reunion with my father."

Dylan has responded by saying his remarks are a betrayal of the whole family and he is dead to her now.

The comment at Bilgrimage follows. I simply don't have the heart to revise it or organize these random thoughts into a coherent essay.

"For those who are interested, here is an invaluable perspective on the Allen/Dylan Farrow case from Samantha Giermer, the victim of Roman Polanski. Advice well worth following.
It is a curious fact that Mia Farrow is an outspoken defender of Roman Polanski. Allen's Golden Globe award is an affront to abuse survivors everywhere but Polanski's Oscar isn't? Curious indeed, but I don't want to belabour the point. I did go back and take a very close look at the original 1992 investigation - which, I have to say, rather shocked me, the testimonies of the two nannies in particular. That Allen willingly subjected himself to a battery of psychological tests and psychiatric interviews and just as willingly took a lie detector test - which he passed - but Mia Farrow refused to take. Of course, the key question she would have been asked is whether she coached Dylan in her answers, an assertion supported by sworn testimony by one of the nannies.
I have difficulty overcoming my feeling of repugnance for Allen and his creepy proclivity for teenage girls, but I'm trying not to allow that prejudicial feeling to override my critical faculties. Something is not right here and the case is far from simple.
For those who have the stomach for it, here is Allen's own 1992 in depth interview on 60 minutes, though unfortunately it is cut off mid way:
The only thing that is clear to me is that Dylan Farrow is the tragic victim in this case and I have no doubt she believes her accusations. I found her statement profoundly moving and sad. But who is the real child abuser? That question remains open, I'm afraid. Too many red flags on all sides.
For the record, I'm not a particular fan of Allen's movies. I've found them wittingly entertaining, but not very admirable. And I'm definitely 'out of sympathy' with the man. Even so, caution must prevail in a case of such enormous complexity.
One voice that needs to be considered is that of another sibling, Moses Farrow, who recently stated that it took him twenty years to escape the negative effects of the 'cloud of toxic hate' and the 'fog of brainwashing' he endured in the Farrow household. Chilling words.
And lastly, does anyone care about the poignant, mature and serene words of Song Yi in defence of her 20 year marriage to Allen and her views on the Dylan accusations? Another woman's voice we feel free to ignore.
Not that it matters a whit, but I'm writing these reflections in the beautiful cathedral of Saint Barbara in the little town of Kutna Hora, some 100 kilometers from Prague (via 4G). I've been reflecting on the Allen/Polanski cases for the past hour, and my intuitions (which are important to no one but myself) tell me something is decidedly 'wrong' about these current accusations agains Allen, though I can't say precisely what that is. But to remain true to those intuition, I have to overcome my own very real repugnance for the man himself and my heartfelt sympathy for Dylan Farrow. May she find peace at last.

I just read this comment at Salon Magazine, which sums up my own sentiments exactly.

What a truly sad situation. It seems like there is plausible circumstantial evidence for both sides of the story. Depending on who is telling the truth, either Woody Allen or Mia Farrow is an unspeakable monster. We don't know, we probably won't get to know, and this is frustrating for anyone who just wants the best for both of them.
In the absence of information that could settle the issue, it might be time for everyone involved to take the fight out of the public eye and move on.
Very good advice, which I am not following by posting on the issue. Heartbreaking and sad.


colkoch said...

I wonder how much the fact Mia herself married Frank Sinatra at 21 has to do with some of this debacle. There was a 31 year difference between them and that's not so different from Woody and Soon Li. Karma.

In the meantime Mia turned herself into the octomom of adoption and that's not turned out all that well.

I think Dylan is telling the truth as far as she experiences her own reality, and I'll also admit that therapeutic reality is not judicial reality.

Personally I don't think Mia Farrow or Woody Allen were ever going to be parents of the year.

Jayden Cameron said...

It's always so refreshing to read your direct, honest remarks, Colleen. And I couldn't agree with you more. Neither one of these parents is "innocent." What role models. I just hope all of their children succeed in overcoming the negatives of this dysfunctional family.

M.McShea said...

While it is a hot topic regarding possible child abuse, the whole matter is one of those dysfunctional family situations that festers for decades and eventually spills out onto the public street or public media in this case. That said. I do not want to add my own views to a situation where there seems little chance of reconciliation or closure with all parties concerned.

Jayden Cameron said...

Wel, those were my own misgivings about :sounding off: on the subject, it might be better for all concerned if this left the public eye. It's just that I was becoming alarmed by the rush to judgement here and the many easy conclusions being reached by many with few facts. That's whySamantha Geimer's advice was wise indeed.