How Two Filmmakers Spent 6 Years On Amanda Knox's Case and Changed Minds About the Sensational Murder Mystery

Guilt or innocence was never the question that drove a pair of documentary filmmakers to dive into the tabloid-ready murder case of Amanda Knox

Guilt or innocence was never the question that drove a pair of documentary filmmakers to dive into the tabloid-ready murder case of Amanda Knox.

Fueled by allegations of sex games gone wrong, the 2007 arrests of Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for the stabbing death of Knox’s study-abroad roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy, seized the headlines and remained there through two trials and the suspects’ eventual 2015 exoneration by Italy’s highest court.

The investigation, media coverage and aftermath — Knox, now 30, served four years in Italian prison and tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue how she has since rebuilt her life back home in Seattle — inform the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary Amanda Knox, which is told with the willing participation of the subject at its center.

“We thought there was a story here that was about more than just Amanda and Raffaele’s story — that was about the way we all process truth and information … [and] the way we also form opinions and judgments about other people,” says director Brian McGinn.

“People were coming to conclusions based on how they felt, not based on objective fact,” says his fellow director, Rod Blackhurst. “We’re seeing that, of course, day in and day out now in almost every story that we’re reading or trying to figure out.”

Says Knox, who hesitated for two years before agreeing to work with the filmmakers: “Seeing it for the first time, I was incredibly relieved.”

• For more on Knox’s post-prison life and her plans for the future, subscribe now to PEOPLE or pick up this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday.

Amanda Friedman

Blackhurst says they spent months living in Italy during production. “The direct evidence was there in Florence. They had all these records, they were just there in a room,” he says.

Sitting down with PEOPLE at her home, alongside the directors, Knox told them: “One of the things that I’m incredibly grateful to you guys for is, not just asking me what happened, but also, ‘What do you think about it?’ And allowing me the opportunity to present myself as not just a villain or caricature, but as someone who is a thinking and feeling and breathing individual.”

She credits the team for doing the same with Giuliano Mignini, one of the prosecutors in her case — allowing him to speak of his own daughters and his empathy for the Kercher family, which Knox says tempered her anger at him.

“I felt for a very long time that no one had done the courtesy to know me,” Knox says. “It felt like the right thing to do, to know him and where he’s coming from.”

She adds: “Trying to really wrap my mind around why this was happening to me necessitated that I had some kind of access to my prosecutor’s motivations, which I couldn’t believe were evil.”

• Watch the full episode of People Features: Amanda Knox — My Life After Prison, streaming now on People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to or download the app on your favorite streaming device.


Six years in the works, the documentary succeeds asa sometimes unnervingly intimate look at those involved in the case, as Entertainment Weekly said in its review: “What you end up with are portraits of individuals — people who are scared or angry or ambitious — all a part of a story that, from the start, ignored their humanity.”

“It was when the news kind of went online,” McGinn says of the time period that spawned the investigation and resulting breathless media coverage. “All of a sudden you could be anonymous and react to the news. What we’re seeing right now in our country is the huge divide over almost every issue. You have to almost choose a side.”

For observers of the Knox case, that push produced a rush to judgment — although Knox says she has heard from “hundreds” of people since the documentary’s release who apologized for seeing her as entertainment and a monster.

“No matter which side you’re on, I think that’s something that was born in this era,” says McGinn.

“If there’s one thing that we hope this film is saying,” he says, “it’s: Take a moment and look at these people and try to understand that there is a personal story behind every single person.”

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