Keira Knightley is the victim in disturbing domestic abuse PSA

Keira Knightley stars as a domestic abuse victim in an public service announcement for the British charity Women’s Aid. The segment begins with Keira looking like she’s leaving a film set to return to a luxury apartment, where she finds a mirror broken and blood on the floor. Her boyfriend approaches with a cut on his hand, and asks her in a snide tone “How was he today, your leading man?” and if it felt “real,” and she answers “it’s my job.” He then shoves a towel in her face, and Keira turns to the camera saying “We didn’t agree to that, that wasn’t in the script.”

Keira is shoved down to the floor, her hair is pulled and she’s kicked repeatedly while the camera pans back to show that she’s still on a film set. Text comes on screen “Isn’t it time someone called cut?” as we continue to watch the abuse. Seeing Keira beaten on a film set is unsettling and it makes you question your role as observer to domestic abuse and when you should step in help a friend in that situation. You want to save Keira and she is convincing and vulnerable even as she plays herself, a strong and capable actress.

The film was directed by Joe Wright, the director of Atonement, with cinematography by Seamus McGarvey, also of Atonement. Over 50 people worked on this PSA, all donating their time for free.

The horrific Rihanna and Chris Brown incident brought the issue of domestic abuse to greater awareness and helped illustrate that anyone can be a victim. Well produced PSAs like this can keep the discussion active and might just save lives. Women’s Aid reminds us that two women die a week in Britain from domestic abuse.

Thanks to BrandRepublic for the details on the film and The Sun for covering this story.

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26 Responses to “Keira Knightley is the victim in disturbing domestic abuse PSA”

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  1. Pont Neuf says:

    This is truly shocking, and angering… It only attests to Keira Knightley’s sensitive and generous nature (not to mention, her more than considerable acting talent), that she would do this PSA to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence. She hardly needs the promotion, and it would be easier for her to do other things with less painful subjects.

    Anyhow, this is excellently done and it may contribute to bring this issue, which has long gone ignored, to the forefront. I think that it would be a tragedy for us to have to see another case as flagrant and terrible as ‘Baby P’ in order to realize that we can prevent the extreme violence that takes place right in front of our faces, and destroys the lives of so many innocent people.

  2. Sarah says:

    Good one! I hope more ppl start to care! Kudos to Keira! Wouldn’t have expected that, but more power to her! She did great

  3. Bellatrix says:

    This is a very strong short film.

    The line “We didn’t agree to this. This isn’t in the script” is a capital element and turning point. It shows how much a person who is the victim of domestic abuse didn’t sign up for it. It has a great point of view towards the people around such a person: don’t blame the victim, keep the communication open, don’t give up on them. And also towards people in the victim position: this is not what you agreed to when you fell in love, you are not the person who triggered the abuse.

    I absolutely adore Keira Knightley and her participating to this great cause just makes her even more loveable as far as I’m concerned.

    The work done is brilliant. I find it very touching that all these people put their talent to contribution for free in order to help get the right word on a very serious cause out there.

  4. Mrs.Darcy says:

    Well done to her for doing this, especially in light of Rhianna it is so important for young women (all women but young women esp. to break the cycle), to know that it is not o.k. in any way.

  5. Kimberly says:

    Wow indeed , that was intensely thought provoking .

  6. that's life says:

    There are many different kinds of abuses. This one is obviously pretty bad.
    I experienced the kind no one sees. Not the physical kind but the emotional abuse which i allowed to take over my life for 9 years. I guess it all leads to the same thing. Have the strength to change, believe in yourself and Get Out.

    I now have a 32 yr old daughter who believes a good relationship means being with an abusive man.

    Great Job Keira and everyone involved. I hope it will bring the attention to women of all ages that abuse is not right.

  7. jessica says:

    wow. i think it was a really good way to raise awareness.

  8. JaundiceMachine says:

    Very poignant.

    My only critique would be that individuals who are in abusive relationships might “compare” their situation to the PSA and reason that their significant other isn’t “that bad” and therefore, not abusive. (I know that’s the logic I used, anyway. )

    But you raise an excellent point, CB. The skit is unrelenting and over-dramatic to illustrate a point, and it raises questions for the observer to answer. (“Isn’t it time someone called cut?”) Perhaps targeting friends and family of battered women may be more effective than speaking directly to the women themselves.

  9. lisa says:

    Absolutely brutal. What a nightmare. Let’s hope this is seen by those in need of help.

  10. Zoe (the other one) says:

    Hugely powerful and very disturbing.

    I’m not a fan of Keira but she can only be applauded for doing this. It’s about time far more people in the public eye made such an unequivocal statement about their refusal to accept domestic abuse.

    Two women a WEEK die in the UK from domestic abuse – that is a terrifying figure.

  11. Autumm Leaves says:

    GMAFB! Now we want to do something about Domestic Violence because a celebrity has experienced it? Now there is an out pouring of support? Really?

    I am sick of this b.s.sensationalism, And bandwagon riders. A woman dies EVERY DAY AT THE HANDS OF HER ABUSER AN IT’S BEEN GOING ON FOR THE BETTER PART OF 30+ YEARS.

    Sick of the b.s.

  12. Autumm Leaves says:

    Edit** Not 30+ years, but for 100′s of years.

  13. Orangejulius says:

    A lot of social issues are not paid any attention until they’re addressed by a celebrity.

  14. KateNonymous says:

    That’s very powerful. I hope it’s effective.

  15. Autumm Leaves says:

    and Orangejuilius, it’s ludicrous. As if people are sheeple that need a celebrity to address social issues. It reminds me of the aids epidemic of the 80s, then the drug epidemic. No one gave a crap until a celebrity dies or is affected by it. It cheapens the issue. So we need a celebrity to validate social issues?

    Ludiccrous. The more I read the more I see people as being sheep.

  16. Orangejulius says:

    I admit, Autumn Leaves that I sometimes shake my head and resent that I’m being treated like an idiot, but…I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not for my benefit, it’s for the benefit of the uninformed and ignorant and it seems that there are so many of them. Just read some of the comments on here, for example.

  17. L says:

    Sadness. Can’t help but cry! She is a great actress.

    And yes, ladies, just cos you know better, doesn’t mean everybody does. If we all did, there would be no need for this kind of PSA.

  18. Autumm Leaves says:

    orangejulius, I accept your points. Valid indeed. I hardly commented on the Chrianna situation because it’s a hot button issue for me. I just knew what was coming down the pike. Once again the media sensationalizes an issue, too late.

  19. Autumm Leaves says:

    “L”, I certainly didn’t need a PSA from a celebrity to raise my awareness. It’s a sad commentary on society when a “celebrity” has to to raise an individuals’ awareness on social issues in order to get one’s attention, especially since the said issues that have affected families for years. The statistics and cases are well documented.

  20. Fail says:

    It’s kind of dumb. “We didn’t agree to this”? No s#%t! I should hope not. Doesn’t seem all that clever, just awkward. And as if Keira Knightly is going to be with some maniac who boot f#@k’s her “Scorsese” style every night when she get’s home . Stupid, but good production value I guess (minus the script).

  21. Lisa says:

    Is it just me who thought it didn’t flow? O_o

  22. FF says:

    It’s not so much people can only address something if it’s happened to a celebrity it’s more that people can grasp something they don’t particularly want to look at if it’s happened to a celebrity – it’s then distant enough and yet close enough to get their head around.

    Personally anything that lights a fire under people’s butts is fine with me.

    Not to mention shocking as it may seem, celebrities are actually human beings. Priviliged, yes, but the last time I looked getting a higher wage and media coverage didn’t transmute you into a different species. I personally think when things happen to celebrities it makes the reality remote enough for people to deal with.