The story of a young American exchange student imprisoned in Italy for the brutal murder of her British roommate
The Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox” depicts romance, murder, mystery, and sex in a package as exciting as a whodunnit fictional movie. Most of us already know the outcome – Amanda Knox convicted twice and acquitted of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007- returned home to Seattle after four years in an Italian prison. The film, filled with suspense and drama, answers many questions, but leaves us to wonder, did she do it?
To summarize the events – Knox, a beautiful blond American exchange student, studying in Perugia, Italy, falls in love with Rafael Sollecito from Bari, Italy. During their brief whirlwind romance, Knox returns to her apartment to find her roommate dead, blood splattered throughout. The lovers, enamored with each other, do not react to the murder as expected by the police and public. They go from being in love to prison in Italy.
In the documentary, Knox and Sollecito sit in front of the camera, older, subdued, giving the audience a peek into themselves today. Their faces reveal how life’s unexpected events changed them, linked them together forever by the murder.
In addition to Knox and Sollecito, the cast includes Rudy Guede, also implicated in the murder of Kercher; Lead Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who sees himself as a Sherlock Holmes, so cocksure, so desperate to identify the killer, any killer; the Perugia police department, bungling and bumbling, tampering with evidence; and Nick Pisa, British journalist with The Daily Mail, satiating the public’s appetite for answers to questions. How could such an innocent faced American student commit cold-blooded murder?
Directors and producers Rod Blackhurst (“Night Swim”) and Brian McGinn (“Chef’s Table”) put together a well crafted film filled with archival footage and illuminating conversations. The music’s tempo accurately reflects the mood of the story adding to the suspense. Some believe in Knox’s guilt, others don’t.
“Either I am a psychopath in sheep’s clothing or I am you,” Knox says.
The media portrays Knox as a sexual pervert. Her website Foxy Knoxy, showing Knox as party girl, contributes to the hype. Depictions of her as a femme fatale, a sex addict, a weirdo, saturate newspapers, television and the internet. We may have seen and heard about Knox before, but this documentary places all pieces into one cohesive story.
Whether you are convinced or not of Knox’s guilt, you will be intrigued by the unfolding story. Some believe Knox is a monster, a she-devil in angel’s clothing, but it is much more complicated than that. Are Knox and Sollecito intrinsically good people caught up in a foreign nightmare or are they just clever sociopaths hiding under the guise of innocence? This documentary tries to answer some probing questions in a beguiling and informative film. It is worth a watch.
Image: “Amanda Knox” exposes the mystery behind what happened to Knox in Italy. (Netflix)