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.