Compelling crime tale
AMANDA KNOX (M)
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.