There was a point, though, when the Amanda Knox star subject wasn’t on board for the on-camera sit-down, directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn tell Chelsea Handler in the latest episode of Chelsea.
“We kind of gave her the decision to make on her own,” Blackhurst says of asking Knox to participate. “We said, ‘This is the film we’d like to make,’ and we then were hands-off. And she decided she didn’t want to do it at first.”
Knox, who was 20 when British student Kercher was found sexually assaulted and fatally stabbed in the Italian apartment they shared, was convicted of the murder — alongside her then-boyfriend — after police said DNA evidence linked them to the crime. At that point, she had spent nearly three years in jail.
Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were later acquitted on appeal in 2011 only to be convicted again in a second appeals trial, in January 2014.
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Finally, in 2015, Italy’s highest court exonerated Knox, again, due to “stunning flaws” in the investigation and a lack of overall evidence.
“It took her two years to decide that she was ready to tell her story,” Blackhurst tells Handler in the Friday episode. “She called us up and said, ‘I would like to talk.’ ”
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The directors also revealed that Knox was not paid for her participation. Both men said they filmed the documentary under the assumption that Knox, now 29, is indeed innocent.
“I think what was important for us to do was to ground the end of the film in the final Italian legal conclusion, which was the Italian Court of Cassation — their version of the Supreme Court — ruled in 2015 that they were to be acquitted of the charge,” Blackhurst explains. “And so that freed us up to remove any personal speculation.”
Adds McGinn, “I think that what we found in making the film was that there was something really interesting happening outside of the whole whodunit element. I think everyone is so fascinated by the whodunit, right? The Italian court system has already settled that story.”
McGinn explains that due to tabloid interest and claims that Knox and Sollecito were involved in sexual deviancy, the story got “so blown out of proportion.”
“There’s this extra layer of BS that gets added on top of it, and people forget that there’s a tragedy at the heart of it,” McGinn tells Handler. “It gets away from this young woman who lost her life … all these people are human beings with real emotions and real stories.”
Chelsea is streaming now on Netflix.