Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater may be garnering positive reviews, but there’s one person who won’t be cheering it on come awards season: Amanda Knox, the American student who spent nearly four years in an Italian prison after wrongfully being found guilty of the 2007 murder of her roommate, fellow exchange student Meredith Kercher. In Stillwater, Matt Damon plays Bill Baker, a redneck who travels to Marseille, France to visit his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin), who is in prison for a murder she swears she doesn’t commit. Bill, hellbent on seeing his daughter exonerated, sets off on a journey to prove her innocence in a country whose language, and legal system, he doesn’t understand. Knox, who was officially acquitted in 2015 and is now a bestselling author, activist, and TV and podcast host, couldn’t help but notice the similarities between Breslin’s character and her own story — and she’s pissed.
As The Wrap notes, Knox fired off a series of tweets expressing her extreme displeasure with McCarthy’s decision to tell part of her own life story without her consent.
She began the epic thread with a series of questions: “Does my name belong to me? My face? What about my life? My story? Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER.”
She went on to call out Vanity Fair for its description of the film as “‘loosely based’ or ‘directly inspired by’ the ‘Amanda Knox saga,’” And took specific issue with the use of the phrase “the Amanda Knox saga.”
“I want to pause right here on that phrase: ‘the Amanda Knox saga,’” Knox wrote. “What does that refer to? Does it refer to anything I did? No. It refers to the events that resulted from the murder of Meredith Kercher by a burglar named Rudy Guede.” Knox went on to lament “that 15 years later, my name is the name associated with this tragic series of events, of which I had zero impact on. Meredith’s name is often left out, as is Rudy Guede’s. When he was released from prison recently, this was the NY Post headline.”
Knox has a very valid point when she noted that she “would love nothing more than for people to refer to the events in Perugia as ‘The murder of Meredith Kercher by Rudy Guede,’ which would place me as the peripheral figure I should have been, the innocent roommate.”
Knox was clear that this Stillwater isn’t the first occasion where someone has chosen to “rip off my story without my consent at the expense of my reputation.” In an attempt to clear the air — or at least directly air her grievances — Knox invited McCarthy and Damon to join her on her podcast, Labyrinths, so that they could hear her side of the story. And better understand how “By fictionalizing away my innocence, my total lack of involvement, by erasing the role of the authorities in my wrongful conviction, McCarthy reinforces an image of me as a guilty and untrustworthy person.”
You can read the full thread below, or via her Medium post:
Does my name belong to me? My face? What about my life? My story? Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER.
/ a thread
— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021
(Via The Wrap)