Overview: Almost ten years after the world watched her be convicted and acquitted twice, Amanda Knox and several others involved in the investigation and its surrounding media circus speak out to shed some light on the gruesome murder of a young woman in Perugia, Italy. Netflix; 2016; Not Rated; 92 minutes.
You Are Me: I was a self absorbed 20-year-old in 2007 when the trial that had everyone’s eyes glued to their television, except for mine. I know Amanda Knox’s name, of course, but little else about her case was already familiar to me when this documentary was released on Saturday. My fiancé, however, was in law school at the time this murder happened and followed it every step of the way, outraged by the biased media coverage and circumstantial, speculative case the Italian police stacked against Knox. It wasn’t until reading her bio after watching this film that I realized she exactly my age, down to the month.
A Psychopath: This revelation created a haunting sense of existential disbelief and horror viewing experience of Amanda Knox, as the story of a similarly self-absorbed 20-year-old unfolds, a college student who ventures out on her own to force herself to grow up and experience the world as a brand new adult. Much like all budding relationships, when Amanda met a boy, the rest of the world fell away, and that connection feels like everything. Solace in sorrow, comfort in the calm, regardless of what’s happening, the need for that person is everything that matters the most. The clip that repeatedly finds its way onto the screen and burns itself into viewers’ brains is that of Amanda and her new boyfriend Raffaele holding one another and kissing outside her apartment right after Meredith Kercher’s body was found. Somehow, this image is indicative of apathy regarding her roommate’s death.
Sheep’s Clothing: The film catalogues the monstrous media frenzy that attacked Amanda as a result of both this clip and the leaked diary she kept while in prison. The media served as judge, jury, and executor, largely spearheaded by former Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa, who was one of the heavily featured individuals interviewed for the film. Pisa’s commentary is viscously void of all emotion and remorse in the film as it was in writing during the investigation and subsequent trial.
As Amanda Knox follows the story from Amanda’s first day in Italy to the day she was officially acquitted by Italy’s Supreme Court, the documentary bounces from footage of the media coverage of the investigation, to prison interview recordings, to interviews with those who represent four distinct counterpoints surround this case: Amanda, her former boyfriend Raffaele, the aforementioned Nick Pisa, and lead investigator Giuliano Mignini.
No extra fluff is added to the re-examination of this story, from the simple stills of the apartment to the frank discussions each person involved has with the camera. All four individuals are sitting on the same stool, with the same background, and provided what seemed to be equal amounts of screen time to tell each of their stories. Pisa is unapologetically ignorant, Mignini, though, is equally unapologetic but in a more maliciously insistent way. He makes is clear that Knox’s guilt should be obvious to everyone. Why, do you ask? Basically because he dislikes her promiscuous, American ways and has decided she’s the one.
I Am You: Amanda and Raffaele both present themselves as two real people who cared for one another and fell victim to some seriously shitty circumstances that have robbed them both of years of their lives. Amanda might have not reacted the way people wanted her to during the investigation and subsequent trial, but the reason she ventured to Italy in the first place was to find herself. Instead, she found who the police and reports and gawkers said she was.
Overall: Regardless of her innocence or guilt, Amanda Knox clearly and diplomatically displays the pieces of a puzzle that has been made unsolvable due to the horrifyingly biased and improper steps taken to convict her. Amanda’s story could have happened to anyone, making this documentary the most terrifying film you will see this year.
Featured Image: Netflix