Press releases announcing Netflix's new Amanda Knox documentary purported that it would explore whether the now-29-year-old was "a cold-blooded psychopath who brutally murdered her roommate or a naïve student abroad trapped in an endless nightmare," but did the film actually sway anyone's opinion on the notorious case either way?
One of the directors of the film, Brian McGinn, tells E! News that despite the fact that he and fellow filmmaker Rod Blackhurst secured the cooperation of Amanda Knox herself for the documentary, they did their best to keep as neutral as possible. Knox was jailed and twice convicted (and then acquitted) for killing her roommate while studying abroad in Italy in 2007.
"For us, the thing that was so important was grounding the movie in the actual legal findings," McGinn says. "There are certainly people that disagree with the findings of the Italian supreme court, and I don't think that that's really going to change. I think people have made up their minds about this case one way or the other, and the thing that was important for us was actually to step back and to remove personal, subjective opinions from it and get straight to, ‘What were those important things that led to the supreme court in 2015 declaring Amanda and Raffaele [Solecito, Knox's then-boyfriend] innocent of the murder?'"
McGinn also points out that the trial took place just around the time that social media became a true game-changer in the way that people consume news. And because of that, the Internet headlines "definitely influenced public opinion worldwide," he says. "People read these headlines and they came to conclusions based on how they felt reading them and judging the people involved and that's a really fascinating, modern-day dilemma for people."
Viewers might still have some lingering skepticism after viewing the hour-and-a-half documentary, which is something McGinn understands. "What we see is so many people are interested in doing their own detective work now. There's so much information out there and people will analyze this case, I think, for many more years still—regardless of the fact that, from a legal perspective, it's been completely settled."
Amanda Knox is now streaming on Netflix.