When did you stop watching Woody Allen movies? Was it when he admitted he was having an affair with his girlfriend's daughter? Perhaps it was after Dylan Farrow, one of his adopted children, accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 7. Maybe you waited until big stars like Kate Winslet said they regretted ever working for him.
Or maybe you're in the group who still catches "Annie Hall" any chance you get, either because you're able to separate the art from the artist or because you've never believed the criminal allegations.
"Allen v. Farrow," a docuseries premiering at 8 p.m. Sunday on HBO, is directly aimed at that last subset of viewers. Its clear hope: After stomaching all four parts, you'll join the Allen boycott.
Part 1 opens with Dylan Farrow, now a 35-year-old mother, leafing through scrapbooks with Allen's images cropped out. But memories of her father loom large. She speaks eloquently about his strange behavior toward her growing up, how he often ignored the other children to spend time with her, cajoled her into sucking his thumb, shoved her face into a plate of spaghetti after she dared to call him "Woody." She also details her claims that Allen took her to the attic, encouraging her to play with an electric train set while he touched her privates.
Allen has denied the allegations, but he turned down requests to be interviewed. Instead, the filmmakers rely heavily on excerpts from the audio version of his 2020 book, "Apropos of Nothing" and clips from his publicity blitz after the accusations first arose.
They do little to help his case.
Almost everyone on camera is on the side of Farrow and her mother, Mia, who is also interviewed at length. There are testimonials from Carly Simon, Gloria Steinem and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. They don't have much evidence to back her story, but their mere presence speaks volumes.
Allen's sturdiest defense, a report from a sexual abuse clinic that concluded Dylan was an "unreliable child," is dismissed by one expert after another.
While much of the film deals with courtroom drama, directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering also give time to film critics, mostly women who admire Allen's catalog — or once did.
They point to his on-screen obsession with May-September romances, most notably in "Manhattan," suggesting that the stories could be seen as his way of conditioning audiences to accept the idea of an older man ogling teenage girls without raising eyebrows.
In a way, it worked.
Even after Dylan and Mia first accused Allen of abuse in 1992, his career continued to flourish. In the past 30 years, he has been nominated for nine Oscars, winning one in 2012 for his "Midnight in Paris" screenplay. He got a standing ovation at the 2002 Academy Awards when he strolled onstage unannounced to pay tribute to New York. The Golden Globes honored him in 2014 with the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
But we're living in different times. In Episode 4, the film points out that the #MeToo movement eventually brought down Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Now it's Allen's turn.
Maybe. Maybe not.
In March 2019, HBO aired "Leaving Neverland," a documentary that presented a convincing case that Michael Jackson was guilty of molesting children.
Radio play of his songs went up that year.