Amanda Knox, the American student who goes on trial in Perugia next month for the murder of Meredith Kercher has starred in an "experimental" feature film for public release in which she plays a prisoner "dreaming of freedom."
The film, entitled "The Last City" ("L'Ultima Citta") features 12 women inmates at Capanne prison just outside Perugia, where Knox has been held since Kercher was killed last November.
The film, made over a three-month period, was financed by the Umbrian regional social services department as part of a "cultural and educational program" designed to raise the morale of those in jail and prepare them for re-entry into society.
Claudio Carini, the former theater actor who directed the movie, said he had shot ten hours of film which had been cut in the final version to 55 minutes. It was made on a budget of $13,000-$20,000, and filmed entirely in the prison.
"The Last City" was to have been screened last Sunday at a cinema in Perugia as part of a festival of experimental film. However the release has been delayed because of the impending trial. Officials in Perugia said it may be shown at the end of January after Knox goes on trial together with her former boyfriend and fellow suspect, Raffaele Sollecito.
Reports said the film opens with a close up of Knox's striking blue eyes. The camera then pulls back to reveal her "sad" face, with no make up, while she gazes wordlessly at the viewer.
Carini said the film portrayed an "imaginary journey" in which the 12 women prisoners escape the confines of the jail to explore "metaphorical cities" representing the worlds of "cinema, work, music, loneliness, madness and dreams." It ends when they enter the seventh and last "city" and find they are back in prison.
Knox, 21, is reported to have told fellow inmates that making the film was a "beautiful experience." In it she recites poetry, partly in Italian and partly in English, including the soliloquy from "Hamlet."
Kercher, a Leeds University exchange student from from the U.K., was found semi-naked and with her throat cut in her bedroom of the hillside cottage she shared with Knox in Perugia.