FILM REVIEW: Amanda Knox

There’s nothing particularly clear cut about the Meredith Kercher case. Back in 2007, as (arguably) now, we knew but one indisputable fact; Meredith Kercher was murdered.

Lord knows how her grieving family is meant to have got any sense of closure when the whole sorry shebang seems to be – despite countless court hours – pretty much inconclusive. The archetypal, interminable crime case.

That said, in 2015, there was finally at last some semblance of closure when both Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted by the Italian courts for a second, and one would assume, final time.

The makers of this new Netflix documentary, Amanda Knox, were on site at the Knox family residence to capture that all important moment when the verdict was delivered. The combined relief and joy on Amanda’s face was something to behold, and the phone call she received just moments later from Raffaele makes for a genuinely emotional and touching scene: “Raffaele, we’re free…!”

It’ll be of no consolation to the Kercher family of course, but at least someone finally can take something positive from the train-wreckage of this most unfortunate of affairs.

It’s genuinely tricky to say whether Amanda Knox, the documentary, deliberately sets out to paint a favourable (or at least neutral), picture of the ‘infamous exchange student’ from Seattle. Certainly her new shorter haircut, absence of make-up, and low-key dress sense would hint at this being the case. Not quite the funky wild-child temptress that the Italian – and subsequently world – press would have had us believe her to be at one time. Then again, a lot of water’s passed under that particular bridge since then, hasn’t it?

There was a murder conviction, serving three or four years of a twenty-six year jail sentence, and an unrelenting press campaign of intrudence which has effectively extinguished any chance that Amanda Knox might have had to slide away from the public eye and lead something resembling a normal life once again.

I’d imagine that that’s a collection of circumstances which would have quite some adverse affect on anyone’s personality.

There’s nothing particularly ground-breaking stylistically-speaking about Amanda Knox, a documentary which simply lays out the ‘facts’ and allows a number of talking heads to have their say – leaving its audience to make up their own mind.

Amongst those interviewed is the head of prosecution, Giuliano Mignini, whose motives and actions are questionable to say the least, as he seeks to curry favour with those of power and influence, hell-bent on proving that he and Perugia’s police force are up to the job of cracking this most high profile of cases. And then there’s the almost insatiable pursuit of the perfect ‘scoop’ by textbook, slippery eel, Daily Mail journalist, Nick Pisa, whose approach is at once both impressive and inappropriate – likening the enormity of his new found journalistic fame and subsequent ego boost in light of these terrible events, to having sex. In fairness, it is after all only journalism and he is after all a journalist. I’m fairly confident that you won’t rise to that sort of level within the industry without being unscrupulous on some level at least.

Of course, it’s the individual testimonies and back stories regaled by both Amanda and Raffaele themselves though that hold the most intrigue. Scrutinising the pair for tell-tale ‘signs’ from body language and dialogue, you’d be hard-pushed to witness any psychopathic traits or signs of the cold hearted blood-lust that some would have you believe is their way and want; but I am of course no expert.

What we can say though is that thanks to a litany of amateurish, bungled attempts by the prosecution to prove the young couple’s guilt – resulting in evidence being rendered inadmissible in court – it seems that the world will never be able to categorically say what really happened, on that regrettable November evening in 2007.

Will the files of the case of the murder of Meredith Kercher remain forever on ice? Has the now jailed chief suspect, Rudy Guede, actually been hung out to dry? The convenient fall guy in a much bigger and more complex scenario? Does Amanda Knox know more than she’s ever let on? Was Sollecito as innocent as he seems, or was he just easily led by the more domineering and seductive charms of Foxy Knoxy? A reluctant accomplice, if you will, in a gruesome murder?

So many questions that will remain unanswered, but one thing we do know now, beyond any reasonable doubt; Netflix’ Amanda Knox documentary leaves us absolutely none the wiser…














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