Stillwater is marketed as being based on the Amanda Knox story, and she called out Tom McCarthy and Matt Damon for it. Here is what happened.
It’s not strange that filmmakers take inspiration from real people and events, but sometimes the way these are treated in fiction hurts the people they are based more on – this is the case of Still water, based on the Amanda Knox case and who called on those involved for profiting from her controversial and complex case. The coronavirus pandemic has forced studios to delay releases and revamp their schedules, and one of those films that has undergone a few date changes is Still water, directed by Tom McCarthy and starring Matt Damon. Still water finally came out, but not without much controversy.
Still water tells the story of Bill Baker (Damon), an unemployed oil rig worker from Oklahoma who sets off alongside a Frenchwoman named Virginia (Camille Cottin) to prove the innocence of his condemned daughter, Allison (Abigail Breslin), who had spent four years in prison for the murder of her roommate. Still water premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021 and hit theaters at the end of the month, but instead of making headlines for its quality, the film was embroiled in controversy for using the case of Amanda Knox as a source of inspiration without her consent, with her calling out Damon and McCarthy on social media.
Amanda Knox took Twitter to call those who are behind Still water for using his story for profit and dragging his name into it for marketing purposes. Knox explains that Still water was marketed as “inspired by the Amanda Knox saga, Focusing on the sensationalist side of what happened to him rather than the facts. Knox also explains how the authorities and therefore the media have focused on building a specific image of her, even though she is innocent and was not involved in the murder she was accused of and continues to be. linked by the media. Of course, there’s also the fact that her story was used without her consent and fictionalized, once again painting her in a bad light, with the film “reinforcing an image of her as a guilty and untrustworthy person. “. Knox has also invited McCarthy and Damon to his podcast so they can clarify all of this, but they have yet to hear back.
In 2009, Amanda Knox was wrongly convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher, her roommate in Perugia, Italy. What led to this and what followed for years was a messy investigation by Italian authorities in which Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were portrayed in a negative light, which sparked off many controversies because the interrogations and the global investigation were called into question by American lawyers and forensic experts. After a long and tiring legal process, during which Knox emphasizes that she had “almost zero” and that she had no control over the image that the media were building around her, the highest Italian court cleared Knox and Sollecito in 2015, but she had already spent almost four years in prison. Knox returned to the United States, graduated, and wrote the book Waiting to be heard: a brief, and has worked as a journalist and activist since.
Still water isn’t the first film to draw inspiration from Amanda Knox’s story, like that of Lifetime Amanda Knox: Murder on trial in Italy, for which Knox sued them, with Lifetime cutting a dream sequence that distorted the facts, and the Fox series Proven innocent, which followed the premise of “what if Amanda Knox becomes a lawyer”. However, Still water not being the first to do what he did doesn’t mean it’s right, especially since Knox hasn’t been approached about it and the story perpetuates a bad image of her just for profit.
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