Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008, 95 minutes, Not Rated (would be R)) 5 stars out of 5

As compelling and emotionally grueling as it gets. Kurt Kuenne‘s ode to his murdered friend, Dr. Andrew Bagby (and to Andrew’s child and parents), is easily one of the best documentaries I have ever seen but also one I am certain I will never watch again.

Bagby was 28 years old when he was murdered, presumably by his on-again off-again girlfriend, who was never actually tried for the crime after a dizzying array of judicial malfunction in the Canadian court system. Bagby was a larger than life person, a doctor with an unwavering devotion to his patients and beloved by his friends and classmates. A single child, his parents David and Kathleen are featured quite a bit by Kuenne, and from them it is easy to see how an exceptional person like Andrew was molded.

I’ll keep the other details of the ordeal the movie is based on sealed, as above was all I knew going in and there’s a lot more than just that. The movie is at times hilarious (Bagby had been acting in Kuenne’s movies since they were children, and we see ample footage), maddening, heart-wrenching, inspiring, depressing, and uplifting, and intensely so in each of those instances. Ultimately it reminded me that there are both monsters and saints in the world. David and Kathleen Bagby are two special people- the world would truly be a better place if more of us were just a fraction more like them.

Recommended but be prepared. I’d be shocked if anyone who watches this isn’t moved to tears at least once.

5 stars out of 5

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About denmcg

I love movies and love sharing them with friends and family. I found myself constantly giving recommendations (sometimes solicited, sometimes not- ask my Dad) so thought why not do a movie review blog? Every year there are tons of great movies that go under-seen, and what I'll do here is let you know which ones you should check out and what ones you should leave unseen. In my experience, movies in the foreign, indie, and documentary genres most typically go under-seen, so those are the reviews you'll find most prevalent here. You'll also find some older films reviewed, that when released were hits, but over time have seen their visibility wane. I'll try to update the site every weekend, and feedback is welcome, whether it's on a review, a movie I should check out, or on the site itself.
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