Amanda Knox’s eight-year legal battle with the Italian legal system has been heavily documented in the media. Found innocent and acquitted in March 2015, Knox was an American student convicted, with her Italian boyfriend, of killing an undergraduate, Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007. And with a documentary on its namesake, the directors Brian McGinn and Rod Blackhurst had the unique challenge of instilling suspense for a story in which the ending is already known. Although the movie offers no new details related to the case, the filmmakers have woven an intriguing retelling of events that still offers a fresh perspective on Knox and her ordeal.
The film relies heavily on physical evidence (police and television footage): through, seemingly exhaustive research and compilations of audio and video footage, McGinn and Blackhurst have tried to assemble perhaps the ultimate account of a story that is well entrenched in the public glare. In addition, it gives the key players sufficient time to explain, redeem or indict themselves at various points in the film, essentially playing on an audience’s perceptions.
More than anything, the film explores the role that the media, and wider societal stereotypes, had in affecting the case. It was one of the first examples of the media using social media profiles as “evidence” (the nickname “Foxy Knoxy” originated from Knox’s MySpace) and was a disgraceful example of widespread “slut-shaming” before that phrase was invented.
The documentary itself doesn’t offer any revelations or fresh insights into the case, however for it’s run time of 92 min, it makes for an engaging reexamination of one of the most provocative murder trials in recent times.