Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father

Most of you have never heard of this movie. The 2008 documentary follows the filmmaker across the country as he collects interviews about his best friend Andrew Bagby, who was murdered in 2001.

Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father
Writer/Director/Composer: Kurt Kuenne

As the story goes on, we find out that Andrew's killer (a psychotic ex-girlfriend) flees the country and returns to her native Canada, eluding extradition and trial for Andrew's murder. We also discover that she's pregnant with his son.

The movie switches direction, now becoming a movie for Zachary (the kid) to get to know the father he never had. It's powerful stuff, and the way Shirley Turner (the killer) evades the legal system will leave you shocked and angered. The rest of the movie, however, delivers an incredible emotional blow, giving you a sinking feeling that is hard to recover from.

Sure, it's slightly manipulative. But all documentaries are, to some degree. The separating factor between this and other docs is the inherently personal nature of this movie. Most documentaries are made with true passion for the subject at hand. But this is a labor of love for Kurt as he travels across the continent to discover more about his best friend and "make one last movie with him."

I'm not going to say anything else about this film. If you have ever seen a documentary, you need to watch this. If you are into those "true crime" shows on TV, you need to watch this. It will leave you reeling (don't say I didn't warn you), but it's worth it just to see for yourself the absolutely preposterous events unfold while Kurt was filming. Until next time...

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