The Forgotten Woman (TW Woody Allen, no mainpage)

With everything about Dylan Farrow's revelations and now Moses Farrow's response, something has been bothering me. There has been a lot of talk about Soon-Yi Previn, but most of it has been troubling.

When Allen left Mia Farrow for Previn, there was all sorts of ugly speculation that she was mentally disabled or brainwashed by Allen. I do not mean to claim she was this seductive temptress who stole her mother's boyfriend, but people went the other way to present her as having no autonomy at all. At its absolute worst, the press and speculation reinforced stereotypes of the docile Asian woman.

There's very little raw footage of Soon-Yi, but she did appear in Barbara Kopple's documentary Wild Man Blues. I haven't seen it, but Roger Ebert's review is interesting. He doesn't paint a flattering portrait of Allen, but Previn comes across rather differently from her public persona:

Woody and Soon-Yi, who was soon to become his wife, seem to have a stable and workable relationship, in which Allen plays his usual role of the dubious neurotic, and Previn is calm and authoritative—a combination of wife, mother and manager. She seems to be good for him. Whether he is good for her has been a matter of controversy, but this film supports what Allen said when their affair was first revealed: "The heart has its reasons.'' Soon-Yi seems more like the adult in the partnership

Two things come clear to me from this: one, Woody Allen has serious mental problems, and two that Soon-Yi Previn is more complicated and grounded than her public image.