“Amanda Knox” (2016)
Running Time: 92 minutes
Director: Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn
Freelance Journalist, The Daily Mail: “But hey, what are we suppose to do? We are journalists and we are reporting what we are being told. It’s not as if I can say “Hold on a minute, I just want to double check that myself in some other way, who knows how, and I’ll let my rival get in there first before me, and then, hey, I’ve lost a scoop.” It doesn’t work like that, not in the news game.”
This documentary, about Amanda Knox, the American accused of murder in 2007 while on her OE in Italy comes at a great time for her personally and reminds us that all people and legal systems are flawed, and how easy it is for people to get caught up in something beyond their experience, knowledge and control. This is another strong documentary from Netflix made all the better by not only interviews with Amada Know but also Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who are not afraid to speak their minds in the most candid way possible.
The basic plot of the film revolves around American Amanda Knox who was tried and convicted for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, who died from knife wounds in the apartment she shared with Knox. Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were both found guilty of killing Kercher, receiving 26- and 25-year prison sentences, respectively. We then follow the story from this conviction all the way through to Knox’s return to the US where she found out that the verdict had been overturned and the case went to the highest court in the land for a final judgement.
My personal opinion on this documentary is that it does take a stance, and follows it through to the end – I believe from the evidence within the feature that as a viewer you will reach a conclusion to the mess that everyone found themselves in. As with all my reviews and particularly documentaries I am not going to delve into the details of the film as it takes the impact of it away from the viewer, but this is a must watch and a must watch with other people as it will provoke conversation and debate.
The other way in which the case is analyzed is looking at how the “media” covered the years and years of the trial – I think that this may have actually been a larger part of the documentary until Knox and Mignini agreed to take part, in which case they took the front seat. It is interesting to know that there are no apologies from the media, which shaped the outcomes of the trial no matter what Mignini says – and there is a tabloid reporter on hand to defend his actions, which in my mind are deplorable, and a taste of what we are seeing here in our own country.
Finally, the Italian Justice System takes a part of this film and you can see by the way Knox was treated by the “system” that like many suspects in murders she is on the back foot from the start and under intense pressure from all the Italian officials to the point that to add even more pressure they told her she was HIV+ – you have to see it to believe it.
In my opinion this is a must see and only reflects on New Zealand’s recent history with the now innocent Teina Pora and how he was treated. My only question is how many people are found guilty of serious crimes that are actually innocent.
If you enjoyed this try:
The People Vs. O J Simpson (2016)
Making a murderer (2015)