The filmmakers and subjects took the panel stage to continue the important discussion started by the film.
The Knockturnal was at the New York City premiere where, following the screening, directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk talked about the film. They were joined by Daisy Coleman, her mother, Audrie Pott’s mother Sheila and Tori Amos, who composed an original song for the film.
The panel began with Sheila Pott addressing the reason for the perpetrators of Audrie’s assault speaking on the record in the film.
“We wanted to clear Audrie’s name,” Pott said, “A lot of stories made it sound like she asked for it and she wanted this. She was passed out. There is no way she could have consented. Consent is very important here.”
Still, she didn’t feel they were forced to face the full consequences of their actions. “A change happened in their life,” she said. “But I don’t think they felt directly responsible for the aftermath.”
The directors didn’t even know the interview segment was going to be part of the film until the last minute.
“We were almost finished shooting and we got this call, Sheila and Larry told us the case had been settled and the perpetrators agreed to these interviews,” Shenk explained the situation. Now, these interviews make up the opening and closing sequences. “The whole project was done in an attempt to gather whatever truth we could,” he added.
Cohen transitioned to Daisy’s story. “We wanted to focus on the way this town expelled her and her family as a result of what happened to her. We couldn’t believe this was happening in our country in exactly that way.”
“It’s an incredibly complicated and emotional case for the town,” Cohen emphasized. “It speaks to the underlying fear in our country. If something like this happens in your town, do you act honorably?”
“At the point they came to us we had death threats and our house burned down,” Melinda Coleman, Daisy’s mother, said while speaking on choosing to agree to make the film, “I hoped we would be safer in the spotlight. I had a talk with the kids and we went forwarding hoping it would make it safer. I think it did.”
When talking about the cyber abuse she experienced Daisy said she is turning that energy around. “I decided I could take that ability to affect someone through the computer screen and turn that into compassion instead.”
Tori Amos, who composed original song “Flicker” for the film, spoke to her inspiration of the song.
“There was a mantra above Charlie (Daisy’s brother) that said ‘monsters are made, not born’,” Amos referred to a specific point in the movie, which she had seen twice at this point. “The muses on my shoulder said no, heroines. They are not born they are made.”
Audrey & Daisy is on Netflix and in select theaters nationwide now.