Tom McCarthy’s new movie Still water, starring Matt Damon as a man whose daughter has been jailed in Europe for a murder she may or may not have committed, is not technically based on the Amanda Knox story, but it is certainly inspired by Amanda Knox’s story. It is the woman who was wrongly convicted of murder and jailed in Italy for several years, with authorities and media defaming her and portraying her as a party-obsessed American who mercilessly murdered her friend, Meredith Kercher, and then tried to run away, which made it difficult for her to convince anyone to try and find the real killer. Much of the same happens in Still water, with McCarthy noting in interviews that Knox’s story inspired the idea for the film even if the end product is not really about his history. Basically, McCarthy didn’t hesitate to say something like “this movie was inspired by a real person named Amanda Knox”.
And yet, no one apparently thought to ask Amanda Knox how she felt about it all. The real Knox has now written a track for Way (Going through IndieWire) in which she wonders if her name, face and story really belong to her or if they can just be used freely by people who want to enjoy her life. Knox’s main problem, aside from the fact that McCarthy and Damon freely refer to Still water as having been inspired by his life even though they never spoke to him is that this is another case where the media robbed him of his agency. She became the center of a media frenzy about a murder she didn’t commit, at the expense of the real person who was murdered and the real person who killed her, and now her name. is used to promote a movie about the same – with all this without fail on his part.
She always feels like she’s being treated like a character in a tabloid story rather than a real person, disregarding her right to live a life that isn’t controlled by how the media perceives her. She also notes, through some spoilers for Still water, that some of the fictional aspects of the Amanda Knox-like character in the film play into unfair conspiracy theories and the criticisms some people have about her life, which she says “reinforces the image of me as guilty and untrustworthy person “. At the moment, it doesn’t appear that McCarthy or Damon have answered all of this.