Amanda Knox slams ‘Stillwater’ film in a robust essay
The US journalist Amanda Knox speaks to a panel discussion entitled “Trial by Media” during the Criminal Justice Festival at the Law University of Modena, Northern Italy, on June 15, 2019.
VINCENZO PINTO | AFP | Getty Images
Amanda Knox speaks out against the new Matt Damon film “Stillwater”.
The journalist, wrongly convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher and later acquitted, went on Twitter Thursday to condemn the film’s director Tom McCarthy and the media for linking her name to the project.
“Is my name mine? My face? What about my life My story? Why does my name refer to events I was not involved in? I return to these questions because others continue to benefit from my name, face and story without my consent, “she wrote in the first of a series of tweets.
Knox’s Twitter thread, also published as an essay on Medium, addressed sexism, the eradication of victims, and their treatment in the press and popular culture for the past 14 years.
Since its debut at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month, “Stillwater” has received mixed reviews from critics and sparked debate about how much it could be inspired by Knox’s own experience.
In interviews, McCarthy has claimed that the story is completely fictionalized, telling Cleveland.com “there is no similarity in our two stories other than an American student in prison.”
McCarthy’s film stars Damon Bill Baker, an Oklahoma oil rig worker who travels to Marseille, France after his estranged daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) is jailed for a murder she did not commit. To prove his daughter’s innocence, Bill takes matters into his own hands, but encounters language barriers and a complicated legal system.
The director told Vanity Fair that after hearing about Knox, he couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to be in her shoes. He also said he wanted to find out what it would be like for those closest to her to endure this type of tragedy.
Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin attend the New York premiere of “Stillwater” at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center on July 26, 2021 in New York City.
Michael Loccisano | WireImage | Getty Images
Knox said Stillwater, which premieres Friday in the US and Canada, is “nowhere near the first” to “tear down” its story without approval and at the expense of its reputation.
The ending of the film is very different from the actual events of Knox’s acquittal, she said. In the film, it is revealed that Allison asked the killer to get rid of her roommate. Although she did not intend for him to kill her, her request indirectly led to the murder.
“How do you think this affects my reputation?” Knox wrote. “By fingering away my innocence, my utter lack of involvement, and erasing the role of the authorities in my unjustified conviction, McCarthy strengthens my image as a guilty and untrustworthy person.”
Knox said McCarthy and Damon had “no moral obligation” to ask them about the fictional story, but said they and their family would have had a lot to tell the director if he had reached out to them.
Knox went on to talk about how Kercher, the victim, was largely removed from the narrative, as was her killer, Rudy Guede. She referred to a recent New York Post headline about Guede’s release from prison that read, “Man Who Killed Amanda Knox’s Roommate Was Released While Serving Community Service.”
“I want to pause here at this sentence: ‘The Amanda Knox saga,'” wrote Knox. “What does that relate to? Does it relate to something I’ve done? No.”
After all, as Knox points out, her story is not about an American studying abroad ‘involved in some kind of sensational crime’. It’s about an American woman who was not involved in a sensational crime and yet was wrongly convicted. “
Universal representatives who distribute the film did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Read Amanda Knox’s full essay here.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “Stillwater”.