During the European Film Market event in Berlin where Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me was being screened at the Berlinale, the US/UK co-production was apparently so violent that dozens of people walked out of the press screening in disgust. The film is based on Jim Thompson's noir tale of the same name and is told from the point of view of a sociopathic, small-town sheriff, played by Casey Affleck. When the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival it also caused a huge stir regarding its depiction of graphic violence against women, particularly a scene where Lou Ford (Affleck) brutally beats Joyce Lakeland (Jessica Alba) repeatedly in the head until she falls into a coma. Reports stated that Alba herself walked out during the screening at Sundance and one woman during an audience Q&A gave Winterbottom the business about the explicit scenes.
Winterbottom spoke out on the matter during the Berlin press conference, defending his use of shocking violence as a way to be true to the original source material, among other things. "For me that was the point of the violence in the film in a way -- it is something very repulsive. In terms of how we depicted it, we were just trying to make it as close to the book as possible. The book is very shocking," the director told reporters.