Photo from YouTube/Netflix US & Canada
By Jasmin Suknanan
If you don’t know the story of Amanda Knox, it goes something like this: picture an average, hardworking college student – just like you and me. Now picture that student getting on a plane to Italy on a study abroad trip, leaving behind family and friends in the states. Now picture that student being arrested and charged with the murder of her roommate. Speechless? Yeah, so was I.
Eight years after her conviction, a documentary attempting to shed some light on Amanda’s role in the mystery surrounding Meredith Kercher’s murder was created. Since it’s available on Netflix, and the story is admittedly intriguing, I decided that I had no excuse to not watch it.
The documentary relied heavily on the expose of a heavily misogynistic Italian police department – in fact, it was brimming with instances of the incompetent nature of the people handling Knox’s case – and a vicious media presence. Simply put, the slut-shaming game in this documentary is strong. The media portrayed Amanda as a slut and played on the idea that the British roommate Meredith Kercher was a victim of an orgy gone wrong. They spoke endlessly about what a “party girl” Amanda was, and how she’d bring boys to the villa in which she lived all the time. They did not fail to make obvious their judgement of this as Amanda’s lack of morals.
DNA belonging to Rudy Guede, a man from the town who’d already had a criminal record for breaking and entering, was found in multiple places throughout the crime scene. But that didn’t matter because the police had already made up their minds that the beautiful foreigner was responsible for the death of a sweet girl, and there’s no stronger evidence than the opinions of a biased investigator.
The presence of British journalist Nick Pisa furthered the general consensus of Amanda’s character – she was a slut who killed her brilliant, studious roommate out of jealousy. Often appearing snide and insensitive, Pisa was the embodiment of what you’d think when you hear the word ‘vulture.’
Throughout the documentary, Amanda was clearly still very shaken from what she had been experiencing over the last almost 10 years. She appeared at a near loss for words in some instances. I mean if you’re wrongfully convicted of a murder you didn’t commit, wouldn’t you feel uneasy in front of a camera? Not to mention the fact that this was Knox’s first on-camera interview since she was acquitted.
We can see a lot of the judgement that was passed against Amanda, but this still felt like it was just a small part of the full story. It might prove valuable to release a documentary focusing solely on the investigators handling the case. We got a small taste of what was going through their minds at some points of the investigation, but digging further to reveal how they collected the evidence and how they watched their case develop over the last eight years would be intriguing.
If you want to become more familiar with the horrific story of a girl who could be a psychopath in sheep’s clothing, watch this documentary. And if you want to bear witness to the disheveling story of a girl who could be you, watch this documentary.