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

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9/10: He was never late Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
Monday, January 19, 2009

Non-fiction and me, we don't generally get along. Not that the truth is something I try to avoid, I just usually find documentaries too much like a school lesson, teaching rather than entertaining. Film to me is a medium that I use to go to different worlds, to be shown something new and exciting. Fiction as a rule, even if based on real events, is usually made more emotionally accessible and shown less analytically, to hit home stronger. However, every once in a while something will come out that truly astounds me, a tale that touches me on a gut level where the story transcends the monotonous narration and still frame photo after still frame photo. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father is just that experience. The last thing I want to do is ruin any of the twists and turns taken by this true life account delving into the death of a beloved...

10/10: Is the Canadian legal system THAT screwed up or do they simply hate America
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WARNING: There are LOTS of spoilers here. I am including them because I think many would like to know about them before deciding whether or not to watch the film--especially those who have themselves have had friends or family murdered.This is perhaps the hardest documentary you could watch--or at least among the hardest. So, if you don't want to cry or feel depressed, please do NOT watch "Dear Zachary". Now I am NOT saying it's a bad film--it's tremendous--it's just very, very hard to watch in spots--mostly because the film is true.This documentary was made by a friend of Andrew Bagby (Kurt Kuenne). The purpose of the film was to chronicle the life and death of Andrew in order to let his young son, Zachary, know about the man his father was. That's because Andrew was murdered...murdered by Zachary's unstable and truly evil mother! Andrew was...

10/10: One of the Finest Documentaries I've Ever Seen
Friday, April 3, 2009

It's not fair. It's shocking, and If you have a Netflix account it is essential that you sit down and spend an hour and half watching the documentary DEAR ZACHERY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER. I mention Netflix because it is part of their watch instantly section and I can say without a shadow of a doubt: you need to see this film.Directed by Kurt Kuenne, it's a story about him on a quest to make a movie for Zachery Turner whose father, David Bagby, was brutally murdered by his Mother. When the Canadian courts let her go on bail it turns into a story of his Grandparents fighting to stay in Zachary's life. These Grandparents never give up. But mostly the story is about the people we leave behind and the legacy that we leave in their hearts. If you think your life is useless, if you think you haven't...

4/10: Decidedly tragic, but tone deaf
Thursday, January 22, 2009

The story at the center of this documentary is devastating. The Bagby family undergoes a horrific tragedy that was certainly hell to live through and to continue to live with. So while my deepest sympathies extend to the long-suffering Bagbys, I find the film based on their story to be seriously deficient and tone deaf. Part of the problem lies in director Kuenne's closeness to his subject. A personal friend of the Bagby family, he doesn't approach the story as a journalist, but as a man with an ax to grind. And while we understand the source of his anger by film's end, it overshadows his objectivity. He is frequently snide and dismissive. The tragedy at the film's center is done a disservice by Kuenne's frequent caricatures.Stepping on screen in your own documentary is problematic as it quickly discounts your objectivity. It telegraphs to the audience that you may be too close to...

10/10: Experience the Life of the Bagbys
Thursday, February 12, 2009

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I have never been affected by a movie as much as this. Ever since i saw this movie, I have not been able to get the story out of my head. The way Kurt uses home movies and interviews to capture the essence of Andrew is perfect. I feel like i know and love the Bagby family. The film takes you through Andrews life showing the people that he touched along the way. The quote that really stuck with me was when Clark said something along the lines of "What would life be if this one person never existed". This is very relevant because of this movie to this day Andrew is affecting the lives of people that he never met including mine. He has inspired me to really cherish the relationships that I have, because life is too short for petty things. I have never cried in a...

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