Artist’s Estate Settles ‘Suspiria’ Copyright Case Against Amazon Studios

Mia Goth as Sara and Dakota
Alessio Bolzoni/Amazon Studios

The estate of Ana Mendieta has reached a settlement with Amazon Studios over its claims that the film “Suspiria” borrows heavily from the late artist’s work.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The film is set for release this weekend in New York and Los Angeles before going wide the following week.

The estate filed a copyright infringement suit last month, alleging that some images in the film are derived from Mendieta’s pieces. In interviews, director Luca Guadagnino has said he was influenced by Mendieta’s art.

The estate’s agent, Galerie Lelong & Co., first flagged some similarities after the film’s trailer was released in June. The estate alleged that one image of a woman’s hands bound across a table was lifted from Mendieta’s “Rape Scene.” Another image of a human silhouette on a sheet was alleged to be derived from her “Untitled (Silueta Series, Mexico).”

The images did not appear in a subsequent trailer, and were removed from the film. The estate’s agent viewed the full film in September, and alleged that eight additional images also bore resemblance to Mendieta’s work.

Mendieta was an influential Cuban-American artist whose work often involved images of female bodies. She died in 1985 in a fall from an apartment tower in New York. Her husband, Carl Andre, was charged with her murder but was acquitted at trial.

In a statement at the time the suit was filed, Galerie Lelong said it closely monitors the use of Mendieta’s work.

“The Estate oversees and implements a stringent rights and reproductions policy,” the gallery said. “All requests to reproduce images of her work are submitted to the Estate for approval. In general, image permissions are only granted for art historical contexts such as academic journal articles and informational articles directly related to the artist’s work and practice. Permissions are not granted for commercial reproductions. Barbara Hoffman, the Estate’s legal counsel, stated that it is unfortunate that the director, Luca Guadagnino, purports to pay homage to women artists of the 70s, yet Amazon has forced the Estate to bring a lawsuit to redress the damage suffered from the continuing usages of Mendieta’s iconic images in connection with ‘Suspiria.'”

Amazon Studios declined to comment.