The compelling beginning asks the questions that are at the core of human nature. We all like to see monsters because we want to believe that we cannot be the evil that is in the world. However, the filmmakers pose the question which Amanda states in her own words, “Either I’m a psychopath in sheep’s clothing, or I am you.” We are left to find for ourselves a deep story. Can anyone potentially be a murderer, is Amanda Knox innocent, or are we to allow one young woman to suffer to ease our conscience?
Amanda tells the story in her own words. She is not a subject filmed in jail or from afar. Her voice shares her feelings, and struggles with the investigation, trial, and prison experience. She looks into the camera and pleads her case. You get to know Amanda as a person. We join her in her fear, and eventual joys. As soon as you are willing to take Amanda’s side and acquit her, you realize your guard is too low and the ghost of Meredith Kercher calls from the grave.
Rod Blackhurst’s cinematography makes this film dazzling to watch. He uses image from high angles, and slow pans and zooms to create an atmosphere similar to the feeling the media allegedly had when they became “enamored” with Amanda Knox. Rod uses the juxtaposition of the Foxy Knoxy label and expertly weaves the beauty theme into this narrative. Although at risk of putting on a misogynistic display, the filmmakers keep the story grounded and work to humanize Knox. From her point of view, she has undergone persecution and vilification by news media, and the Italian government alike. The psychological abuse she was allegedly put through, and the way her diaries were published for everyone to critique is a level of violation few have undergone, or so she would have you think.
Journalistic integrity takes a hard hit in this film, Nick Pisa describes the process and his rise to front page prominence because of the Amanda Knox case. Pisa is so ravenous for the next big story that he seems to ignore ethical considerations when devising headlines. More enlightening to the modern problem with journalism is Pisa’s unwillingness to accept culpability for any role in public perception. More enlightening still are the American journalists who began to treat the Italian justice system like they didn’t know what they were doing. The American’s took on the attitude of supporting their citizen abroad regardless of the initial evidence looking unfavorable for young Amanda Knox.
Amanda Knox is a compelling story that may not convince you of guilt or innocence. It is a film that serves to tell another side of the story, Amanda Knox’s side. I highly recommend this film for its powerful cinematography. Also, for a story that twists traditional documentary narrative. Even knowing the end, I was surprised at each turn. Amanda Knox may not leave you satisfied but it will leave you intrigued and talking for days.