Hollywood is no stranger to adapting real-life stories for the silver screen. From a hard-hitting drama like Erin Brockovich to the harrowing hilarity of an adaptation like Zola, these movies help bring amazing stories to life and usually help the subject of the movie get even more famous.
But not everyone welcomes the spotlight. Recently, Amanda Knox has come out against the movie Stillwater, which is loosely based on the events in Perugia, Italy, that turned Amanda’s life upside down.
So, what did Amanda Knox say about Stillwater, and how does her life connect to the film?
What is Amanda Knox’s connection to the movie 'Stillwater'?
Starring Matt Damon as a roughneck American oil-rig worker from Oklahoma, Stillwater is about a father (Matt) who travels to Marseilles, France, to see his daughter (Abigail Breslin) in prison, where she’s being held for a murder she says she did not commit. Despite the language and cultural barriers, Matt Damon’s character makes a new life for himself in France as he makes his life’s only mission to exonerate his daughter.
If all that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s inspired by the story of Amanda Knox. In 2007, Amanda was a student living in Perugia, Italy, when her roommate was murdered. Amanda and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were arrested for the crime and she spent four years in Italian prison before being acquitted in 2015.
Amanda is now claiming that the movie is profiting off her life and the trauma she endured during those years in Italy. Posting on Medium and on her Twitter, Amanda asked, “Does my name belong to me? Does my face? What about my life? My story? Why is my name used to refer to events I had no hand in?”
She went on to call out the Vanity Fair article in which the movie’s director, Tom McCarthy, said that the story was directly inspired by what the publication called “the Amanda Knox saga.” And according to Amanda, Tom’s fictionalized version of her story is harmful to her reputation.
She said that although Tom wasn’t required to consult with her about her story, which he was using in his movie, “[b]y fictionalizing away my innocence, my total lack of involvement, by erasing the role of the authorities in my wrongful conviction, [Tom] reinforces an image of me as a guilty and untrustworthy person.”
Amanda went on to talk about how the real victim of the story, her roommate Meredith Kercher, and her killer, Rudy Guede, had by and large been erased from the story. She said 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.”
She also pointed out that despite it having been years since she was exonerated of the murder, Amanda has not been able to “return to the relative anonymity [she] had before Perugia,” and has had to “sit idly by while others continue to distort my character, or fight to restore my good reputation that was wrongfully destroyed.”
If you're still interested in seeing this movie, Stillwater releases in theaters on July 30, 2021.