PN 25: Directing “Amanda Knox”

Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn, the directors of “Amanda Knox,” discuss their five-year effort to bring the story to Netflix.

Knox was a Seattle college student studying for a year abroad in Perugia, Italy. In 2007, her British roommate Meredith Kercher was found murdered in their apartment. Local prosecutor Giuliano Mignini accused Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of committing the murder. The case was portrayed by tabloids as a lurid sex crime. For years, it dragged through Italian courts where Knox and Sollecito were convicted, acquitted, then re-convicted and finally acquitted for good.

Blackhurst and McGinn first reached out to Knox in 2011 when her case was still in court. On Pure Nonfiction, they talk to host Thom Powers about shepherding the project as an independent production before Netflix came on board. Eventually they got to interview all the key characters along with reporter Nick Pisa who broke several headlines on the case, including information that later proved false.

For years, the case has divided onlookers interpreting Knox’s behavior. McGinn describes her case as exemplifying the “Kuleshov effect” where the same image looks different depending on how it’s juxtaposed with other images.

This episode was recorded at the School of Visual Arts MFA Social Documentary program

On Twitter: @rodblackhurst @brimcgi @thompowers @purenonfiction
Pure Nonfiction is distributed by the TIFF podcast network.

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