Com­pelling crime tale

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -


Di­rec­tors: Rod Black­hurst, Brian McGinn Star­ring: Amanda Knox, Raf­faele Sol­lecito, Nick Pisa, Guil­iano Mignini Ver­dict: Guilty? In­no­cent? Or none of the above? AT the be­gin­ning of the new doc­u­men­tary bear­ing her name, Amanda Knox con­fi­dently stares into the cam­era and makes the fol­low­ing self-as­sess­ment: “Ei­ther I’m a psy­chopath in sheep’s cloth­ing. Or I’m you.”

The grip­ping story of Knox – and her in­volve­ment in a bizarre mur­der case which held the world en­thralled, ap­palled and tit­il­lated – may ul­ti­mately leave view­ers none the wiser when cast­ing their own fi­nal judg­ment.

Nev­er­the­less, those with a bent for true-crime yarns in the vein of the all-con­quer­ing Se­rial pod­cast or the Jinx and Mak­ing a Mur­derer series will be riv­eted by the com­pre­hen­sive cov­er­age laid out here.

Though a num­ber of film­mak­ers have al­ready made limited passes over the Knox case, di­rec­tors Rod Black­hurst and Brian McGinn have clearly gained the best ac­cess yet to all the need-to-know fac­tors in play.

For those some­how un­fa­mil­iar with this bizarre af­fair, it all started in the pic­turesque Ital­ian hill­side city of Peru­gia in Novem­ber 2007.

Knox was a 21-year-old Amer­i­can ex­change stu­dent en­joy­ing life away from home for the very first time.

The at­trac­tive blonde had a part­time job at a pop­u­lar bar, par­tied most evenings and was never short for a hook-up.

Then one morn­ing, as Knox tells it, she came home to dis­cover she was liv­ing at a crime scene. One of her house­mates, 20-year-old Lon­doner Mered­ith Kercher, had been mur­dered, her throat slit with a kitchen knife.

The crime scene im­me­di­ately roused the sus­pi­cions of lo­cal po­lice. Signs of a break-in to the small flat looked am­a­teur­ishly staged to cover a chill­ing, pre-med­i­tated sex­ual as­sault of the vic­tim.

Then there was Knox’s odd be­hav­iour as foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors combed the house. She and her boyfriend, Raf­faele Sol­lecito, were kiss­ing, cud­dling and nuz­zling. Knox even did a hand­stand at one point.

Hardly the type of be­hav­iour any­one would ex­pect to see at a time and place swathed in such in­tense tragedy.

As we come to learn in the doco, Knox is in­deed an odd in­di­vid­ual. Both she and Sol­lecito – to­gether with Guil­iano Mignini, the case’s con­tro­ver­sial lead pros­e­cu­tor – are dis­arm­ingly will­ing and vo­cal in­ter­vie­wees through­out the film.

Though each speaker’s ver­sion of events con­tin­u­ally dif­fer in both ob­vi­ous and in­tri­cate ways, it is Knox’s clin­i­cal, yet quizzi­cal rec­ol­lec­tions that com­pel and con­found the viewer at all times.

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