For the new Netflix documentary, Casting JonBenet, filmmakers auditioned 200 girls in Boulder, Colorado, for roles in an imaginary film about the 1996 murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. Though the film is labeled a “documentary,” it subverts many norms we see in documentary films toay. The Verge writes, “Netflix’s Casting JonBenét is the closest you’ll get to a JonBenét Ramsey documentary that doesn’t carry the stench of exploitation and sensationalism. That’s because it’s not really a documentary, and it’s not about JonBenét.”
The documentary is the next in a set of films and/or series that center on murders that happened years ago, and comes from 32-year-old Australian director Kitty Green. It does not include any voice-overs, context cards, or experts, and yet it still manages to shed light on the perplexing death of young JonBenet.
The child beauty pageant queen was killed in her Boulder, Colorado, home on the night of December 25, 1996. Authorities found a long ransom note in her house, and eight hours after she was reported missing, her father found her body in the basement. JonBenet’s death was classified as a homicide, but it remains an open investigation today.
PREMIERE DATE: Friday, April 28, 2017
TIME: 12 a.m. PT/3 a.m. ET
DISTRIBUTED BY: Netflix
INITIAL RELEASE: Sundance Film Festival (January 22, 2017)