Dear Zachary – chat with Kurt Kuenne – 2008 CIFF

I was deeply touched by Kurt Kuenne‘s documentary “Dear Zachary” (site contains background detailed information about the case & documentary which some film goers may not want to know before watching the film). Note: You can get in touch with Kurt via the contact info on his page. He reads and appreciates your messages.

It is a film and journey that I won’t forget any time soon. The film’s subject is the late Dr. Andrew Bagby, Kurt’s friend since age 7. Andrew was murdered by an ex-girlfriend. And the film also deals with the twists and turns of dealing with the killer.

Here is my 30+ minutes chat with Kurt (in mp3). You can also stream the audio by going to this page. My chat with Kurt was by far the most difficult to conduct but I think it turned out great. Have a listen. You can check out the Calgary screening schedule here.

Here is a synopsis of the film from CIFF,

Dear Zachary has drawn standing ovations at film festivals and created heaving rollercoasters of emotion wherever it has played. This love-letter video documentary by Kurt Kuenne has been garnering tears in theatres since its debut at Slamdance.

Constructing a diary to Zachary (an unborn boy who will never get to meet his murdered father) the filmmaker (and childhood friend of the victim) takes his camera around the globe to give the child a perspective on his dad’s heritage. The jaw-dropping revelation and trigger for this film’s power is that the child’s mother is the prime suspect in his father’s death. As her guilt seems more and more clear, and Zachary’s birth gets closer, Andrew’s courageous parents take centre stage as the heroic grandparents struggling to control their boiling, conflicted feelings and focus on giving the boy the nurturing he deserves – while still pursuing justice for the loss of their son. Dear Zachary packs a whallop audiences won’t soon forget, and the plot twists in this all-too-real film rival the dramatic weepies of Hollywood.

Here is a trailer of “Dear Zachary”.

P.S. Spoiler alert: I was deeply touched by the human dilemma that David and Kate Bagby (parents of Andrew and grandparents of Zachary) had to face.

During one of the scene, with the infinite wisdom granted by hindsight, David expressed his willingness to do something extreme. To me, while totally disagreeing with that approach and view to justice, I choose to see that scene as the showing of the infinite love that a grandpa was be willing to do, disregarding his own personal life and liberty.

This story is a deeply personal story told by the filmmaker Kurt, and David & Kate Bagby, and everyone else involved. I am grateful that this story was told and I hope a reasoned discussion and debate will lead to better laws in Canada.

Read the Turner Review & Investigation, the most comprehensive look at the evidence of the case, conducted by Peter H. Markesteyn, M.D., F.C.A.P. and David C. Day, Q.C., commissioned by the Child & Youth Advocate’s office of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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10 Responses to Dear Zachary – chat with Kurt Kuenne – 2008 CIFF

  1. […] touched after watching the documentary “Dear Zachary” last night. (Read and hear my interview with the documentary filmmaker Kurt here.) And it was my honour to have a chance to interview David & Kate Bagby after the screening and […]

  2. […] Dear Zachary – chat with Kurt Kuenne, writer, director, producer (audio interview) […]

  3. wendy says:

    I was fortunate enough to get a chance to watch most of Dear Zachary with a few interruptions from my little boy. I too, will not forget the story any time soon. I’ve been searching for another time to watch it without interruptions. My little boy is everything to me. I’ve gone through a very scary personal journey to protect my son & myself over this last year. Our battle for safety still isn’t over. I know how it feels to have very real & valid fear for the person you want to protect the most. I can not even grasp how unimaginable & horrible it would be to to lose your child & try to save your grandchild. That story was extremely moving to me. I’m sure all families & friends involved are overwhelmed by the responses. Something so personal to them all has been made public. Like many terrible tragitys, hopefully people will become educated & moved enough to make the changes needed to protect our loved ones. I genuinely now care about a family & their friends that I will never know.

  4. kempton says:

    @wendy

    Thanks for leaving your comments and sharing your experiences. Kurt, Andrew’s good friend, told a really deeply touching story that we all felt can related to.

  5. Patricia, Cape Canaveral, FL says:

    What a “tear jerker!” How fortunate for everyone that were in Andrew and Zachary’s lives to have had you Kurt , to HONOR and document their lives! To Kate and David, you are truly amazing parents and grandparents to so many; not just David and Zachary. I feel “Blessed” to have seen this documentary on TV. Keep up the fight for justice to ALL! I lost a son, Adam who was 19yrs. old and have experienced some of your grief. As time goes on, it just helps to make life bearable!

  6. kempton says:

    @Patricia

    Kurt had truly done an amazing job of telling this truly sad story. I hope you’ve sent Kurt an email as I am sure he appreciates it.

  7. Suzi says:

    Dear Kurt-I just viewed your wonderful touching documentary “Dear Zachery” and will follow up with Parliment to help make some justice occur for both Andrew and Zachery, As I Christian, I believe Zachery is with his daddy and “Shirley” is no where near them, They are finally safe from the Devil. There are no words to convey to Kate and David that their sacrifices had a reason but their continuous work toward Good (all their lives) will make a difference and will count heavilyin changing the horrendous laws that were in force during Shirley’s criminal actions. I will hod next to my heart the precious life of Zachery. How blessed both Andrew and he were to have such a loving enviornoment and people who matter.

  8. […] you watch the film (there are spoilers), you can check out my interviews with Kurt (audio) and Zachary’s grandparents (video), David & Kathleen Bagby in this […]

  9. […] visited Calgary in 2008, have a look of my video interview with them. You can also listen to an interview I had with Kurt who made a documentary about the case and was Andrew’s […]

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