It’s been over 20 years since the murder of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. But the case is just as fascinating as ever, thanks to its bizarre details—and the fact that it’s still unsolved. After a recent spate of made-for-TV movies (including a controversial documentary that purported to solve the case), Casting JonBenet offers a fresh take on an exhaustively covered story. At first, it seems to present stories of people auditioning for roles in a production about the case, but the film ends up digging far deeper with personal confessions that are more revealing than any true-crime reenactment. The adult actors vying to play the Ramsey family are all from Boulder, and have vivid memories of the crime, even if they can’t agree about the killer or the motive. Speaking directly to the camera, the actors begin telling their own stories, and what emerges is an exploration of how time, memory, and personal experiences can shape our perceptions of well-known events, while making us examine our own perceptions and prejudices around the story. –Cheryl Eddy
Australian documentarian Kitty Green’s feature debut, Ukraine Is Not a Brothel (2013), offered an in-depth study of the feminist group Femen, known for their topless protests. Previously, she explored the non-fiction technique used in Casting JonBenet in The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul (2015), a short doc about the Olympic figure skater.
Director Kitty Green
Producer James Schamus, Scott Macaulay, Kitty Green
Editor Davis Coombe
Cinematographer Michael Latham
Music Nathan Larson