Casting JonBenet

Casting JonBenet

Casting JonBenet is a 2017 documentary film by Kitty Green. It is about the JonBenet Ramsey murder case in 1996 and the actors’ thoughts about her death and its investigation.

“I’m ___, and I’m auditioning for the role of ___.”

The film opens with kids wearing similar American-themed costumes scrambling to their seats, getting ready for their audition. “I’m ____ (name) and I’m auditioning for the role of _____ (role).” is the usual intro for each actor. Then the film moves on to show some casting procedures for a fictional film. These includes interviews, read-through, and acting auditions. During the casting process, the actors would give their opinions about the case and offer their own theories. A few re-enactments inserted in between provides a sense of continuity.

Colorado natives

What made the documentary film unique is the actors are from Colorado. Each of them have opinions on who killed JonBenet Ramsey and could relate to it. Just like the investigation and trial, every angle was shown — her father John, mother Patsy, and brother Burke Ramsey, suspect John Mark Karr, and the police officers.

Multiple versions, one set

Towards the end of the documentary, a set that replicates the Ramsey home stands at the center of the studio. The actors re-enact their assigned scenes, and culminates in multiple versions of what happened on 26 December 1996.

Personally, this is a brilliant idea of a documentary: telling the crime story in a casting process. No wonder it got positive reviews from critics. And if you don’t have any idea of the death of JonBenet Ramsey and its succeeding investigations, this documentary film will provide you the information that you’ll need. Not boring and you can watch it on Netflix.