“Dear Zachary” is an amazing documentary that everyone should experience. It’s a tough one to get through but it’s so worth it if you do. I won’t give away anything surprising but all I can say is that you will be moved and I think changed for the better after witnessing this masterful film.
In essence, this is a love letter from director Kurt Kuenne to his best friend Dr. Andrew Bagby who was murdered by a woman he dated. He made this movie for Andrew’s unborn son so he would know the real man who was his dad. He interviewed all of his friends and relatives to paint a wonderful and honest portrait of Andrew. Along the way, the story becomes unbelievable and infuriating. If it were not a true story you would stop watching this film. It’s that outrageous what happens in this film.
The parents of the murdered father, Kate and David Bagby, have to endure incredible hardships as they have to move to Canada to be with their grandson while the law tries to extradite the murderer of their son. All the while, they have to talk to this monster and see her if they want to spend time with their grandson. It’s unreal what the Canadian legal system does or doesn’t do for over a year. They even let her go free on bail not once but twice! I will say no more.
Fortunately, if there is any silver lining to the nightmare that these sweet people had to endure is the fact that they were able to force major changes to laws in the Canadian legal system that would prevent murderers from getting free on bail. It might not help them but they did this to help many other victims in the future. I truly think Kate and David Bagby are amazing human beings for having the strength to do all that they did. The same is true of the director of this film who did an incredible job. It truly showed the impact that each friend can have on so many lives. It reminded me of It’s a Wonderful Life in some respects as we got to see how Andrew’s short life (only 28 when killed) impacted so many lives in a big way.
By the way, Kurt Kuenne also directed one of my favorite short films, the viral hit called “VALIDATION” which is on YouTube. He’s a talented filmmaker and judging from this work of art, a wonderful friend.