In 2001, Andrew Babgy was murdered in a parking lot, and his childhood friend, Kurt Kuenne, decided to make a documentary about Bagby's life. When it was revealed that Bagby was murdered by his ex-girlfriend—and that the ex-girlfriend was pregnant with Bagby's child—Kuenne's film became a love letter to the baby about Bagby's father. Soon things got weirder and sadder and more terrible, and Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father eventually becomes something very different than simply a portrait of a beloved man.
The doc, which was a hit at this year's Slamdance Festival, is captivating: Kuenne uses home movies, recorded phone calls, and films he made as a child to full effect. This is so much more than interviews interspersed with B-roll; Kuenne takes us behind the sensational headlines of murder and a justice system that failed a family, and he succeeds in making us care.
But that said, I can't really recommend you see it. Dear Zachary is depressing as hell. Your heart will ache, your anger will rise. The day after you see it, the syrupy voice of a crazed murderer will run through your head. There's a ton of awards buzz around this doc; there will be more from Kurt Kuenne. Skip this; see those.
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