I am not one to write reviews. I normally don’t have the attention span nor the memory needed to deliver what I believe to be an accurate portrayal of how I felt about a movie. That being said, Dear Zachary is one of the most engrossing documentary (or films for that matter) that I have ever seen.
Directory Kurt Kuenne began making this movie as a tribute to his childhood friend, Andrew Bagby, a man who was allegedly murdered by his ex-girlfriend. We learn that the suspect, Shirley Turner, was pregnant with Bagby’s son. The doc then transforms into a way for Kuenne to tell Zachary, the child, about the father he will never know.
Throughout the film, friends and family of Andrew are interviewed and describe the man they all continue to hold in very high regard. Most noticeably, Andrew’s parents Kate and David speak about their son and their attempt to gain custody of their grandson. The two are the epitome of love and loss.
This documentary is the most emotionally powerful film I have ever seen. It leads you through sorrow and sympathy to downright disgust and anger. This film is beautiful, inspiring, and gut-wrenching all at the same time without being too over-the-top.
The scene that really got to me was (no spoiler) when the narrator, Kuenne, broke down while describing an incident late in the film. I really wish to say more but I believe that in doing so, I would be robbing you of such an emotional experience.
This is as real as it gets and I can’t recommend this film enough. I will be honest, it is difficult to get through at times, but hold out to finish this beautifully heartbreaking film.