Kirby Dick interview: ‘Allen v. Farrow’ documentary

It took a lot of convincing for Mia Farrow to become a part of Kirby Dick’s latest documentary, “Allen v. Farrow.” “This whole case had been covered—actually mis-covered for decades and they had really felt the impact of that, of not being believed, of being blamed actually,” Dick tells Gold Derby in our Meet the Experts: Documentary and Nonfiction panel (watch the exclusive video interview above). Even though she was very apprehensive about being a part of the documentary, it was ultimately her daughter, Dylan Farrow, that brought Mia around to participating. “I think it’s because of Dylan’s courage and her willingness to step forward as she’s done several times over the last six, seven years.”

“Allen v. Farrow,” which premiered on HBO back in February, re-examines Dylan’s accusations of being sexually molested by her adoptive father, Woody Allen, back in 1992. In addition to providing a critical examination of how the story was covered in the press, the documentary also details how the legal system failed Dylan in their decision not to prosecute Allen. The series is nominated for seven Emmy Awards including Best Documentary or Nonfiction Series. This is Dick’s fourth career Emmy nomination. In addition to his nominations this year for writing, directing and producing “Allen v. Farrow,” he was nominated for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking for “The Hunting Ground” in 2016.

SEE Watch our interviews with over 150 of this year’s Emmy nominees

Having made several films about the subject of sexual assault, Dick finds himself unsure whether Dylan was more damaged by the abuse she suffered or the legal system failing to hold her attacker accountable. “So often what you see is that people come back to you and they say the abuse was really traumatic and affected them for their whole life, but it was not being believed that was even worse,” he says. But Dick doesn’t see that mentality in Dylan and views her decision to tell her story back in 2014 as one that was incredibly brave. “Seeing this courage I think in some ways was an inspiration and it had a significant impact on the fact that ‘Me Too’ even happened.”

For Dick, the most striking thing about Dylan is her courage. “The fact that she, from the very beginning, was insistent, even as a seven year old, on telling her story. The courage at that age, the courage as an adult, her continued courage.” He adds that whenever survivors of sexual abuse come forward it helps all of us to tackle the problem and Dylan is now positioning herself to be someone who can help us do just that. “It not only gets their story out, but it gives inspiration to other people to come out and the more people that come out, the more this society will be able to deal with issues around sexual assault and issues around consent.”

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UPLOADED Aug 10, 2021 2:38 pm