Brian McGinn & Rod Blackhurst: Amanda Knox

I refrain from a classic review of this shocking documentary that was launched yesterday on Netflix after having been premiered at the recent Toronto Film Festival. There has already been several praising texts in New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, Telegraph etc., and – in Danish – in the newspaper Politiken. If you want to read them go via the facebook page of Plus Pictures, the Danish production company of ”Amanda Knox”. The producer’s name is Mette Heide, who again has taken care of a big international documentary. With success. If you are one of those, who have never heard about this film before, scroll down and get the synopsis – and come back to…

… a fine interview (link below) with the two directors on the site of

the Danish Film Institute that also has supported ”Amanda Knox”. The first question you put to yourself is how they did get that deep access to a crime story that for years filled the electronic and printed media. The answer comes here:

“We got access to a lot of new material,” Brian McGinn says. “Material like phone and prison recordings, home video footage that Knox shot of the victim Meredith Kercher and photos of Sollecito and Knox, taken during their week-long romance, that had never been seen before and that offer an illuminating perspective on what happened behind the scenes. In that sense, I hope people come away from the film having a better understanding of the case itself…”

Rod Blackhurst says: “We were fortunate enough to get them all on camera – the defendants Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the main prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and finally Nick Pisa, a journalist for the Daily Mail, who was one of the first reporters on the scene. There have been several other television documentaries made about these people, but they all took outside perspectives. We wanted to make a film that looked at the story from the inside out. We wanted to make a story about what it felt like for all of these individuals to be caught up in headlines that came to define their lives and hear from them directly, in their own words”.

And that is what we get in this well told and well built story about the tragic fate of the two young people, told by themselves, from their perspective, it’s touching. It is ”in their own words” and especially Amanda Knox has the gift of being precise and analytical – and emotional – when she adresses the camera. See photo (taken by Rod Blackhurst). A media world of total hysteria. With Daily Mail journalist Nick Pisa as an example of how disgusting journalism, if you can call it that, can be. He has no regrets looking back on the way he covered the trials, he remembers how happy he was to have ”front page after front page” and how he always wanted to be the first. No matter the facts of the case. The other character who stands out in his own pathetic way is the public prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who wanted to please the press by almost immeditately pointing at Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as the guilty ones because of the way they reacted to the death of Meredith Kercher. They were kissing each other while the investigations took place! Therefore guilty! Mignini built up his own story with himself as a kind of pipe-smoking inspector Maigret, he loved the attention of the media, he became a hero in Perugia – and probably still is as many believe the two youngsters committed the murder. He did not care about facts and his incompetence is precisely revealed, when the deeper DNA examinations are performed. Apart from having built the film in an amazingly effective manner that suits the subject of a crime story, the filmmakers have succeeded in characterising the tabloid media at its worth and the lack of credibility of a law system, where personal vanity drives the main prosecutor.

Synopsis (from the DFI website): 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, the film 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.

Denmark, 2016, 91 mins.

http://www.dfi.dk/Service/English/News-and-publications/News/September-2016/Amanda-Knox-interview.aspx

 

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3839