Friday, February 24, 2017

Amanda Knox: Did she kill Meredith Kercher?

            Documentaries are a unique type of film based on re-creating actual events, eras, lives, and stories. Many are meant to convey new and interesting information, some pull at your heartstrings, and others keep your attention by portraying high suspense crime mysteries. Amanda Knox is one of these mysterious documentaries; it investigates the real-life story of a woman who was twice convicted and acquitted of murder. The film takes place in Italy, and it explores the murder of Meredith Kercher. The crime documentary builds suspense, keeping the audience on the edge of their seat wondering who really killed Meredith Kercher. No matter the type of documentary, all have a specific CAPP: context, audience, purpose, and point of view. Upon performing a CAPP analysis, Amanda Knox proves to be a successful documentary; is a film that makes a convincing argument by portraying its CAPP well, while also appealing to viewers’ ethos, pathos, and logos.
One thing the Amanda Knox documentary does extremely well is it provides viewers with good background and context of the film. The documentary opens with a 911 call and real life footage of blood and a disrupted apartment. It becomes apparent that what prompted this documentary was the motivation to provide insight into the investigation of a mysterious crime. Audiences are then told a backstory that helps put this crime into context and tells them what they need to know; it explains that the girl who was murdered was Meredith Kercher. Additionally, it explains why the documentary is about Amanda Knox and how she ended up in Perugia, Italy, where the gruesome crime took place. 
Knox tells of how she and Kercher were two college students who met while studying abroad in Italy. They had only known each other for a few short weeks, when on November 2nd, 2007, Kercher was murdered in their apartment. Knox is able to tell her side of the story, claiming that she found the door to Kercher’s room locked, so she called the police; it was then when law enforcement found Kercher’s body. Viewers also were informed that Kercher was from United Kingdom, so all eyes were on Italy to solve this crime for not only Kercher’s family, but for the U.K. Given this backstory, we are informed that Italy felt the pressure of proving their law enforcement skills to the world. The sufficient context and background information that the documentary gives successfully sets up the film and intrigues viewers.
Upon analyzing the film, the target audience of Amanda Knox becomes clear. The murder of Kercher was a worldwide news story in 2007, so the investigation was well known across the globe. Because of this, when the documentary came out in 2016, it was of high interest. Anyone who has heard of Kercher’s death would be considered the main target audience for this film, since these individuals are the ones who would want to know more about the crime and investigation. Furthermore, these people would be intrigued to see the film to hear Knox’s side of the story, which wasn't portrayed often in the media at the time of the crime. Knox had a sort of "trial by media", readers assuming she was guilty because of what the media said, and many didn't get to hear Knox's side of the story. Throughout the documentary, people are able to learn about how Knox was pressured by police (even slapped once!) in order to get a confession out of her. Even though Rudy Guede's evilence was all over the crime scene, law enforcement lead by Italian investigator Giuliano Mignini so desperately clung to the fact that Knox was the killer.

However, the audience for this film is a bit limited due to the fact that it is on Netflix. In order to view the film, individuals must have access to wifi and Netflix. Also, the film would only pop up on the Netflix profiles of people who have watched mystery or crime films before. All in all, the film reaches its target audience well; many people are interested in crime films such as this one, and many had heard of the Amanda Knox before.
The film not only successfully utilized context and reached their audience, but it also had a strong purpose. The purpose of this documentary was to explore whether or not Amanda Knox was guilty of this murder, and to allow her to share her side of the story. The film does a good job of this by using appeals to audiences' ethos, pathos, and logos. The film possessed strong ethos because it featured Amanda Knox herself, which makes the film more credible. It also has many strong pathos appeals. The first is that the film showed many scary and gruesome crime scene photos that tapped into viewers emotions. The film also told Knox's emotional side of the story, showed her and Sollecito crying, and it even showed intense protests outside of the courtroom. 
All of these instances cause viewers to feel a whirlwind of deep emotions - maybe even a hint of sympathy - in regards to Knox and her story. The movie was in general very emotional, since it dealt with death and crime. Amanda Knox also appealed to the logos of viewers. There were many facts and photos from the crime scene, which gave the film logical credibility. There was also an abundance of data on the weapons and information on DNA from the crime scene. Additionally, the film had credibility because it was not just from the perspective of Knox.

Lastly, the film had an accurate and convincing point of view. Not only did Knox speak for the film, but we heard from key individuals close to to the case. The four most important people interviewed for this documentary were Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, investigator Giuliano Mignini, and journalist Nick Pisa.
The fact that the documentary portrayed multiple perspectives ensured that the film was credible and that the story was set straight. Knox was able to tell her side of the story, and Sollecito also got the chance to set the record straight. Although the wanderer Rudy Guede was ultimately convicted of the murder, Mignini stood by his accusations that Knox and Sollecito were somehow involved. Overall, the point of view that this documentary was told from was accurate and credible since it came from many different perspectives. Although some believed in her guilt - and others her innocence - all sides of the story were portrayed, so that viewers could decide who they sided with for themselves.
In conclusion, Amanda Knox was a successful documentary because it achieved its goal of telling Knox's long awaited side of the story, while also providing background into the investigation and court trials. It also had a strong context, audience, purpose, and point of view.  I decided to rate the documentary four nachos. It left me suspicious about Knox and her story, but the evidence that Guede was really the killer was something I couldn't overlook. Overall, whether you believe in Knox's guilt or innocence, the documentary provided suspense and further insight into the death of  Meredith Kercher. So, what do you think? Do you believe Amanda Knox's story? Mignini leaves us with his final thoughts at the end of the documentary...

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