How Netflix's new Amanda Knox documentary makes you completely rethink the case

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On November 1, 2007, in Perugia, Italy, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher was found murdered in the bedroom of an apartment she was sharing with two Italian women and a 20-year-old American exchange student named Amanda Knox. Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, said they realized something was wrong when they discovered Kercher's door was locked, drops of blood in the bathroom, and a broken bedroom window. They proceeded to call the police.

What followed is a sensational story that tabloid journalists went crazy over, and which ended with Knox spending four years in an Italian prison following the murder, for which she was convicted, until she was ultimately acquitted.

SEE ALSO: Amanda Knox says documentary is about a wrongfully convicted person

Five years after being freed from prison because of DNA contamination and a year after Italy's highest court exonerated her, a new documentary, "Amanda Knox," delivers the definitive tell-all of the events.

To be released by Netflix on September 30, the movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and received rave reviews for its in-depth investigation of every aspect of the Knox saga told by many of the main players, including Knox.

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Amanda Knox throughout her trial
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Amanda Knox throughout her trial
Raffaele Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno speaks to journalists as she arrives on March 25, 2015 at the Rome's Supreme Court for the reviewing of Sollecito's trial. The court will examine the verdict that found Raffaele Sollecito and his former lover American Amanda Knox guilty of killing British student Meredith Kercher in the Italian university town of Perugia in 2007, in a case that has captivated the world with its sub-texts of drugs, alleged sexual debauchery and police bungling. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Stephanie Kercher (L), sister of Meredith Kercher, and her brother Lyle hold a press conference in a hotel in central Florence on January 31, 2014. A court in Florence on January 30 sentenced US student Amanda Knox to 28 years and six months in prison for the murder of her British housemate in 2007 in the latest dramatic twist in the high-profile case. The court, after 12 hours of deliberations, also found Knox's former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty for killing Meredith Kercher in the university town of Perugia and sentenced him to 25 years. Knox and Sollecito were first convicted of the murder in 2009, then acquitted in 2011 on appeal. An extradition procedure for Knox can only be launched following a definitive ruling from the supreme court, which could take months or years. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
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Directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn, like most people in the world, couldn't get over how much media made the case a sensation. By 2011, when they started work on the movie, the Knox story dominated headlines once again when she was freed from prison.

"I think that for us we were a little bit confused by why it was so big and also how something that starts as an undeniable tragedy and a terrible act of violence becomes a piece of front-page news and that then becomes entertainment," McGinn told Business Insider at TIFF. "So we thought it would be interesting in looking at how that happens and to try to get really deep inside to the roots of what really causes that kind of story."

"There were so many headlines, and so many stories, and yet people didn't seem to have any further clarity," Blackhurst added.

What "Amanda Knox" reveals is how crucial mistakes in the handling of the crime scene and a false confession by Knox led to complete dysfunction in the case. But it also shows how journalists became obsessed with Knox.

SEE ALSO: More on Amanda Knox

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Amanda Knox
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Amanda Knox
SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 27: Amanda Knox speaks to the media during a brief press conference in front of her parents' home March 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been acquitted by Italy's highest court in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, who was killed in her bedroom on November 1, 2007 in Perugia. Standing behind Knox is her fiance Colin Sutherland.(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 27: Patrick Lumumba and his lawyer arrives at the Palazzo di Giustizia courthouse during the last session for the final verdict of the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito murder retrial on March 27, 2015 in Rome, Italy. The final verdict is assumed to be announced today. The court reinstated on January 31, 2014 in Florence the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher in 2007. The verdict overturns Knox and Sollecito's successful appeal in 2011 which released them after four years in jail. Meredith Kercher was murdered in her bedroom on November 1st, 2007 in Perugia. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Raffaele Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno speaks to journalists as she arrives at the Italy's Supreme Court in Rome on March 27, 2015. The court today examines the verdict that found Knox and her ex-lover Raffaele Sollecito guilty of killing British student Meredith Kercher in the Italian university town of Perugia in 2007, in a case that has captivated the world with its sub-texts of drugs, alleged sexual debauchery and police bungling. Italy's top court has put back a ruling on Amanda Knox's murder conviction, delaying what could be the final act of an eight-year legal drama that has captivated a global audience. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Amanda Knox 's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova arrives at the Italy's Supreme Court in Rome on March 27, 2015. The court today examines the verdict that found Knox and her ex-lover Raffaele Sollecito guilty of killing British student Meredith Kercher in the Italian university town of Perugia in 2007, in a case that has captivated the world with its sub-texts of drugs, alleged sexual debauchery and police bungling. Italy's top court has put back a ruling on Amanda Knox's murder conviction, delaying what could be the final act of an eight-year legal drama. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Italian Raffaele Sollecito, convicted with former lover Amanda Knox of the grizzly murder of a British student, and his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno give a press conference on July 1st, 2014 in Rome. Sollecito's new defense strategy comes as their legal teams prepare to appeal the couple's murder convictions in the death of Knox's former roommate Meredith Kercher before Italy's Supreme Court next year. Knox and Sollecito were first convicted of the murder in 2009, then acquitted in 2011 on appeal. The supreme court last year ordered a re-trial, leading to the guilty verdicts issued on January 31, 2014. Raffaele Sollecito reasserted his innocence today as his attorneys continued to distance him from his ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
Italian Raffaele Sollecito, convicted with former lover Amanda Knox of the grizzly murder of a British student, speaks during a press conference on July 1st, 2014 in Rome. Sollecito's new defense strategy comes as their legal teams prepare to appeal the couple's murder convictions in the death of Knox's former roommate Meredith Kercher before Italy's Supreme Court next year. Knox and Sollecito were first convicted of the murder in 2009, then acquitted in 2011 on appeal. The supreme court last year ordered a re-trial, leading to the guilty verdicts issued on January 31, 2014. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Raffaele Sollecito (background), former boyfriend of US student Amanda Knox (unseen), flanked by an unidentified person, leaves police headquarters in Udine, on January 31, 2014. A court in Florence on January 30 sentenced US student Amanda Knox to 28 years and six months in prison for the murder of her British housemate in 2007 in the latest dramatic twist in the high-profile case. The court, after 12 hours of deliberations, also found Knox's former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty for killing Meredith Kercher in the university town of Perugia and sentenced him to 25 years. AFP PHOTO / SIMONE FERRARO (Photo credit should read SIMONE FERRARO/AFP/Getty Images)
FLORENCE, ITALY - JANUARY 31: Meredith Kercher's sister Stephanie Kercher and brother Lyle Kercher speak to the press at the Star Hotel, the day after the final verdict of the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito retrial at the Courthouse of Florence on January 31, 2014 in Florence, Italy. The court reinstated yesterday the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher in 2007. The verdict overturns Knox and Sollecito's successful appeal in 2011 which released them after four years in jail. Meredith Kercher was murdered in her bedroom on November 1st, 2007 in Perugia. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
FLORENCE, ITALY - JANUARY 30: Raffaele Sollecito arrives at the Nuovo Palazzo di Giustizia courthouse of Florence for the final verdict of the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito retrial on January 30, 2014 in Florence, Italy. Meredith Kercher was murdered in her bedroom on November 1st, 2007 in Perugia. On March 25, 2013 the verdict that declared Knox and Sollecito innocent and accused Rudy Guede of the murder was cancelled and the trial had to restart in Florence. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 30: Congolese barman, Patrick Lumumba (C), and his lawyer Carlo Pacelli talk to the press outside the new Courthouse during a break from the appeal trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito on September 30, 2013 in Florence, Italy. Both Knox and Sollecito had the convictions overturned and were released in 2011 after four years in prison. Knox has no plans to return to Italy for the retrial and will be represented by her laywers in court. (Photo by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Amanda Knox appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Amanda Knox (author, Waiting to be Heard) and her mother, Edda Mellas appeared live today, June 17, 2013 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) AMANDA KNOX, EDDA MELLAS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - 5/1/13 - Amanda Knox - the college junior who became the center of a dramatic murder trial in Italy, conviction and the court appeal that finally acquitted and freed her - speaks to Robin Roberts on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
(FILES) This file picture taken on March 12, 2011 shows US Amanda Knox takes place in court before the start of a session of her appeal trial in Perugia's courthouse. talian prosecutors on February 14, 2012 lodged an appeal against the acquittal of US student Amanda Knox, accusing her of murdering her British housemate Meredith Kercher in the university town of Perugia in 2007. AFP PHOTO/ FILES / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 04: Amanda Knox speaks at a news conference at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on October 04, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
PERUGIA, ITALY - OCTOBER 03: Raffaele Sollecito waits in Perugia's Court of Appeal before hearing that he won his appeal against his murder conviction on October 3, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. American student Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito have won their appeal against their conviction in 2009 of killing their British roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy in 2007. The pair had served nearly four years in jail after initially being sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Amanda Knox's aunt Janet Huff, reacts after the verdict that overturns Amanda's conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher on October 3, 2011 at Perugia's court. US Amanda Knox was acquitted of murder and sexual assault by the appeal court today after four years in custody over the killing of her British housemate Meredith Kercher. AFP PHOTO /POOL/Pier Paolo Cito (Photo credit should read PIER PAOLO CITO/AFP/Getty Images)
Raffaele Sollecito is taken away after the verdict that overturns his conviction and acquits him and co-defendant Amanda Knox of murdering Amanda's British roommate Meredith Kercher on October 3, 2011 at Perugia's court. US Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted of murder and sexual assault by an Italian jury today in a dramatic end to her four-year battle to prove their innocence, sparking scenes of jubilation in the courtroom. AFP PHOTO /POOL/ PIETRO CROCCHIONI (Photo credit should read PIETRO CROCCHIONI/AFP/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 3: Supporters of Amanda Knox Susan Rosales (L) and Tom Wright wait to hear if and Italian jury overturned of Knox's conviction for killing British student Meredith Kercher October 3, 2011 in Seattle Washington. Knox's 2009 concviction was overturned along with her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito. The slander charges against the two were upheld. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
PERUGIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 30: Amanda Knox (R) speaks to her lawyer Luciano Ghirga (L) as she is escorted from her appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal on September 30, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are awaiting the verdict of their appeal that could see their conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher overturned. American student Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who were convicted in 2009 of killing their British roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy in 2007, have served nearly four years in jail after being sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Amanda Knox is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, September 29, 2016, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
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Footage of her kissing Sollecito and showing little remorse for what happened to her roommate by the time news cameras arrived at the crime scene started the narrative. In the weeks and months to follow, Knox was branded as sex-crazed, and as the investigation continued, the theory was that Kercher was a victim in some deviant crime of passion involving Knox and Sollecito.

Though before this film, Knox had done the big TV interviews and a book once back in the US, Blackhurst and McGinn still felt Knox hadn't opened up and given her side of the story, and neither had Sollecito, nor the lead investigator of the murder, Italian detective Giuliano Mignini.

"All of them felt this narrative the media put out there was not representative of who they were and we wanted to understand from a human point of view what it would feel like to have that applied to you and what it felt like to be caught up in these events and circumstances," Blackhurst said.

So the filmmakers began trying to get access to everyone who was involved. But they made it clear that they would not move on the film until their subjects were comfortable.

"We met Amanda and Raffaele when they were acquitted in 2011, but it wasn't until 2013 that she decided, on her own, that she was ready to talk," Blackhurst said. "That was always very important to us to say we're not going to come and dine and dash, we're not trying to steal something out of your mouth and leak it on Twitter as quickly as possible. We want to put in the time to understand you as people."

They shot Knox for the first time in 2014. Once she signed on, Raffaele, Mignini, and others including Nick Pisa, who broke many of the stories about the case for the Daily Mail, also agreed to talk.

But then there was explaining to an audience what likely happened to Kercher, and that meant diving into DNA evidence and deciding how to deliver the information as simply as possible.

The filmmakers used graphics to point out that Knox was never in the room where Kercher died, according to the DNA present in the room. They also showed that DNA evidence linking Knox to the knife thought to be used as the murder weapon was inconclusive.

"Initially we thought the graphics would be more complex," McGinn said, "but what we realized quickly was the only way to keep it a human story and feel empathy for the people involved was to put it in more layman's terms."

Along with the graphics, McGinn and Blackhurst got the DNA experts from the trial to be in the movie. They had never previously done an interview about this case.

The filmmakers are most proud of bringing much-needed context to the moments that were only captured in small news bites around the world when the case was happening.

In "Amanda Knox," we get never-before-heard audio recordings of Amanda and her mother speaking in prison, and some added clarity to the footage everyone remembers of Knox kissing Sollecito outside the murder scene. The documentary explains through interviews with Knox and Sollecito that it was not what it seemed.

"You can feel what it felt like for those people to be caught up at that time," Blackhurst said of the movie. "You're able to give context to this one little bit because you now can see and hear from them."

"Amanda Knox" will be available on Netflix September 30.

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