Netflix has established a name for itself in all sorts of ways; from its impressive and steadily building slate of original movies, to its wealth of gripping TV shows, whether they be fictional dramas or true-life documentaries. The latest documentary offering from the channel also seems certain to pull in strong ratings too, if the success of Making a Murderer is anything to go by. If the popularity of that show is to be believed, the general public love to watch a show that presents the facts to what could be seen as a classic ‘whodunnit’ case. The debate of whether Steven Avery was guilty or framed raged across all forms of social media, with everyone having an opinion one way or another.
With that in mind, it seems almost certain that Amanda Knox will also spark some lively discussion too. Presenting the ‘other side’ of the story, Amanda Knox will take a look at the now infamous murder trial in 2007, when Knox was accused with her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecitio, of killing her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in a drug-fueled sex game. The murder took place in Perugia, Italy, where Knox was studying at the time. Though Knox protested her innocence, she was convicted and then spent four years in an Italian jail before being acquitted on appeal and released in 2011.
Though she was cleared, many still doubt Knox’s innocence, and Netflix play heavily on the ambiguity surrounding the case in two new trailers for the doc; one that encourages you to believe her, one that says we should suspect her. Watch the trailers below, and attempt to make up your own mind.
Of course, it’s impossible to ever say for certain whether Knox is or isn’t guilty, but you can guarantee that everyone will still state their opinions on the matter, regardless. The documentary, from Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn, gives many different angles of the case, including interviews with Knox herself (who is keen to tell her story), Sollecitio, British Tabloid Journalist Nick Pisa (who worked on the story) and the Italian prosecutor who brought the case to court. After her first acquittal, Knox and Sollecitio then had their charges reinstated (Knox was back in her Seattle home by that point), before ultimately being acquitted again by the Italian High Court.
Blackhurst and McGinn acknowledge that they have approached Amanda Knox in a different way to most documentaries. Firstly, all interviewees are seated center screen, talking directly to the camera, Blackhurst tells THR, in an attempt to strip away pre-conceived notions about the subjects involved (mainly Knox):
“We thought if we could center them in the middle of the frame, have them speak directly, making eye contact, to you, the audience, we could strip away a lot of that noise that might influence how you felt about them.”
There is also a certain element of theatricality to the documentary, too, including the very deliberate choice of background music, “Tu Vuo Fa L’Americano,” which was also used in The Talented Mr. Ripley: a book-turned movie that, most will recall, focuses on an American caught up in a murder investigation while abroad. Says Blackhurst:
“We’re hoping too that there is a little bit of our love for David Fincher’s films that comes across in some of the stylized visual moments in the movie.”
All of this, McGinn adds, is an attempt to emphasize the way modern society views tragedy:
“What we found, editing the movie, is people make judgments based on how they feel and not on what actually is. [That] influences how stories are told in the news and on social media. Living with this story for so long, and living with the changes that happened to these people in the case, allowed us to find that and end up with a conversation that is bigger than this story itself.”
Amanda Knox might just sway some people’s opinions. Ultimately, though, people’s opinions of Knox have never been exactly positive (particularly in the U.K. media) because of the way she seemingly welcomes the drama surrounding her case. As she says in the ‘Suspect Her’ trailer: “Either I am a psychopath in sheep’s clothing, or I am you.”
Amanda Knox arrives on Netflix on September 30th, 2016.