Running for just over an hour and a half, Netflix’s original documentary Amanda Knox makes one thing very clear about its subject: she’s exhausted, and rightfully so.
“I get into a line at the grocery store, and the person behind me’s like ‘Whoa, it’s you, I know you!” says Knox in the documentary. “I really want to turn to them and say ‘Who the fuck are you? And you don’t know me.'”
Since 2007, the year in which the media circus surrounding Knox and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito’s alleged murder of Knox’s study abroad roommate Meredith Kercher began, several people have thought that they had Knox pegged.
We meet these people in the documentary, which is directed by Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn. There’s Giuliano Mignini, the intimidating public prosecutor from Perugia, Italy, where the incident took place. He seems to have convicted Knox in his mind long before she ever went to trial, reminding us of the prosecution team and police in Netflix’s Making a Murderer.
There’s freelance journalist Nick Pisa, who wrote for The Daily Mail throughout the Knox saga. He, along with a whole slue of journalists covering the case, committed one of the most troubling, unadulterated examples of media sensationalism in recent history by reporting just about anything ever said about Knox, even her in-prison diary.
Then, there’s us, the people. Some of us stood outside the courthouse the night Knox was first acquitted, screaming for her trial to be brought to the Supreme Court of Italy so that she would be brought to justice for a murder of which she had just been deemed innocent. Others read her name in the paper, see her picture on television and hear her mentioned in passing conversation and feel that they have enough to formulate an opinion on her being guilty or not.
However, as she breaks down and cries on camera, nearly unrecognizable with short brown hair and a completely matured aesthetic, it’s obvious that she’s had enough. This is not “Foxy Knoxy,” the accused cold-blooded murder made more frightening by her jovial, cherubic face. Here we have Amanda Knox, a woman worn down by accusations, arrests, trials, convictions, appeals and eventual freedom, looking to just move on.
Incredibly well done in its cinematography and intentional juxtaposition of rival characters, Amanda Knox ultimately turns the former suspect into a victim of police, prosecutorial and media negligence. So, when you come across Amanda Knox in your local Safeway and tell her that you know her as she attempts to buy her products of choice, it doesn’t mean she is a murderer if she turns around and punches you square in the nose like a swimmer escaping a shark attack.
She’s swam, bloodied and embattled, in those waters for way too long. The person in the grocery store, though, still knows her as the shark and not the worn-down, water-treading swimmer clinging for air.
That person really does need to watch Amanda Knox before opening their mouth.