Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Starring: David & Kathleen Bagby, Dr. Andrew Bagby (left), Kurt Kuenne (right)

Directed by: Kurt Kuenne

UR. 95 mins

Powerful and incendiary – Dear Zachary is a stunning emotional experience from the very dedicated and ambitious Kuenne. The documentary (more of a memorial, really) came about after Kuenne’s best friend, Andrew Bagby, was murdered by his jealous ex-girlfriend, Shirley. Soon after, family and friends were shocked to hear that Shirley was pregnant with Andrew’s baby. The film began as a tribute to his best-friend and a glimpse into the Andrew’s life – the father little Zachary would never know. As Kuenne travels all across the United States, Andrew’s parents move all the way to Newfoundland to fight for custody over Zachary. As the trial drags on and on, it’s hard to believe that all of this really happened and even harder not to become furiously emotional at every twist and turn in this poor family’s nightmare. Kuenne’s unique direction and fast-paced editing delivers the visceral grief and heart wrenching realism that this story deserves. A true labour of love – * * * * 1/2

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