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More than 20 years after six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was killed in her family’s home in Boulder, Colo., on Christmas night, the mystery surrounding her death continues unabated.
The new documentary Casting JonBenet re-examines the case, but it does so by taking a completely original route. In her second feature, Australian director Kitty Green (The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul) calls in actors, some professional and some non-pro, from around the Boulder area to audition for the roles of JonBenet, her now-deceased mother Patsy, her father John and her brother Burke.
As part of the audition process, the actors are asked to offer their own theories and suspicions about what happened and to explain why the case still resonates with them 20 years on. Reviewing the genre-busting movie at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it debuted, THR critic Leslie Felperin wrote, “Ultimately, this evolves into a layered meditation on many things — crime and guilt, the exploitation of children and acting itself, to name just a few. [The film is] playful, prismatic but ultimately richly moving.”
Netflix acquired worldwide rights to the documentary in advance of its Sundance screening, and will begin offering the film on the streaming service on April 28.
Green also produced the doc, along with Scott Macaulay and James Schamus. Meridian Entertainment financed the feature through its production pact with Schamus’ Symbolic Exchange.
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