‘Amanda Knox’ Trailers Show Both Sides of Netflix’s New Documentary
Believe her or suspect her? Those are the questions posited by not one, but two new trailers for Netflix’s new original documentary Amanda Knox. The acclaimed doc centers on the eponymous subject, who was tried, along with her boyfriend, for the murder of her roommate while studying abroad. In what became known as the biggest trial of the decade in Italy, Knox’s case captivated people all over the world, but questions of her guilt — and innocence — still remain.
In an interesting move, Netflix has chosen to release two compelling trailers for Amanda Knox, the new documentary directed by Rod Blackhurst (Here Alone) and Brian McGinn (Chef’s Table), which investigates Knox’s highly-publicized trial. The first trailer, “I Believe Her,” paints a brief portrait of a bright-eyed young college student who wanted to expand her horizons by studying abroad, and soon found her entire life engulfed in turmoil.
The second trailer, “I Suspect Her,” casts some doubt on Knox’s story, and features interviews with those who criticized the way she behaved in the days and weeks following her roommate’s murder. It’s a compelling dynamic that allows us, as viewers, to see how a filmmaker can persuasively manipulate a narrative — yes, even a documentary — with the help of music, editing, and selected sound bites to effectively sway our beliefs in one direction or the other:
It’s not much different from defense and prosecution arguments in an actual trial, with both sides presenting the same pieces of evidence with opposing viewpoints. Fascinating stuff, right?
Over the course of almost a decade, Knox was twice convicted of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher, but was ultimately acquitted both times. Her trial became the subject of intense media coverage and, not unlike the O.J. Simpson trial, wild tabloid speculation. Here’s the official synopsis for Amanda Knox, which has its world premiere at TIFF on September 9 ahead of its Netflix debut on September 30:
Was she a cold-blooded psychopath who brutally murdered her roommate or a naive study abroad student trapped in an endless nightmare? In the Netflix Original Documentary Amanda Knox, directors Rod Blackhurst (Tribeca Audience Award-winner Here Alone) and Brian McGinn (IDA Award-winner Chef’s Table) and producer Mette Heide (Peabody Award-winner India’s Daughter) explore the notorious case that made headlines around the world.
Twice convicted and twice acquitted by Italian courts of the brutal killing of her British roommate Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox became the subject of global speculation as non-stop media attention fed the public’s fascination through every twist and turn of the nearly decade-long case.
In a world that remains strongly divided on the legal findings, Amanda Knox goes beyond guilt or innocence to shed new light on the events and circumstances of the past nine years. Featuring unprecedented access to key people involved and never-before-seen archival material, the film shifts between past to present, exploring the case from the inside out in exclusive interviews with Amanda Knox, her former co-defendant and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa.
As a hunger for salacious and exciting news stories grows, what role do we all play in the perpetuation and the creation of ‘front page’ ready narratives? Amanda Knox is a human story that goes past the headlines to examine the often fraught relationship between true crime tragedy, justice and entertainment.