In 2007, Amanda Knox was arrested in France for the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. Prosecutors alleged that the American and her boyfriend had convinced Kercher to join them in risqué activity and that things went sideways during the event and resulted in Kercher’s death.
However, DNA evidence in the case showed that Knox and her boyfriend were not in Kercher’s room when she died. Instead, someone else had to have committed the crime. Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were released from prison after being wrongfully jailed for four years. The case was harrowing for Knox, who says that it robbed her anonymity and several years of her life.
Now, Knox is speaking out against a new film loosely based on the events of her case. The film, Stillwater, stars Matt Damon and will release later this year.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Knox states, “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,” before explaining how depictions of her life have negatively impacted her.
Knox notes that the movie is described as being based on “the Amanda Knox saga,” a phrase that she takes issue with. “Everyone else in that “saga” had more influence over events than I did,” she writes. “The erroneous focus on me by the authorities led to an erroneous focus on me by the press, which shaped how I was viewed. In prison, I had no control over my public image, no voice in my story.”
Stillwater is not literally about Knox herself: the character who stands in for her is named differently. The actual events in the film are stated to be very different from reality. However, the case does beg the question: is it ethical for filmmakers to use “ripped from the headlines” stories in their films? When the people involved in those incidents are still alive, there is a danger of making things tougher for the people depicted.
On the other hand, the story is a work of fiction inspired by actual events. In the end, it’s up to each individual to decide whether they find such real-world inspiration interesting or simply in bad taste.