Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

this movie is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. the worst and best of the human is on display. Andrew's friends and family made me love him and them. they continue to work to change laws to protect innocent people from those who may be dangerous. this trailer brought back the memory of watching the film with my sister. i am sobbing and she says, "it gets worse"

Statement from the Filmmaker
I wish that I had never had the opportunity to make this film. I wish that my friend Dr. Andrew Bagby was alive and well and that I was blissfully ignorant of the lessons I've learned along this journey. Alas, this is not the case. When bad things happen, good people have to take what they've learned and make the world a better place, and that is precisely what I hope this film will do – make the world a better place.
..............In the last phone conversation I ever had with Andrew, he asked me if I'd ever heard the Garth Brooks song "Standing Outside the Fire". I hadn't. He said the song reminded him of me because "I've never thought of you as standing outside the fire." After he died, I was bequeathed Andrew's copy of the album. The chorus is:

Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

I hope this film will inspire lawmakers and citizens everywhere to take a look at themselves, decide what they stand for and do their best to live a life they can look back on proudly. We are alive. We have the opportunity to do and achieve anything we can imagine. For those who are just surviving – and for those members of the Canadian governmental systems who scrambled to save face in the wake of this tragedy rather than admit error and take positive action – I hope it will inspire them to go forth, use their power for good and jump into the fire.

I hope that you will join me on what has been the most rewarding journey of my life. I believe we can make the world a safer, better place.
Kurt Kuenne
full statement

a good review by Brian Orndorf over at DVD talk

The experience of watching the documentary "Dear Zachary" is like trying to put together a complex puzzle inside a roaring jet engine. Eschewing a liberal, meditative approach to reverse engineer a murder, "Zachary" instead pours its heart out over the screen, piloting with unfiltered rage and tears as filmmaker Kurt Kuenne embarks on a distressing odyssey to decipher just who would want to kill his lifelong friend, Andrew.
When 28-year-old Andrew Bagby entered into a relationship with 40-year-old Shirley Jane Turner, Andrew's immense community of friends and family felt a distinct unease with this strange woman. Beloved everywhere he went and blessed with a rare inner fountain of goodwill and humor, Andrew eventually came to agree with the majority opinion and hoped to break up with Turner one night before heading over to a friend's house. The next day his body was discovered riddled with bullets, with Turner fleeing to Canada soon after to avoid prosecution. What ensued after the grisly murder makes up the bulk of "Dear Zachary," and it's a story that's not easily forgotten. The senseless death of Andrew Bagby is only the prologue to Kuenne's film: a clenched, tireless love letter to Andrew's infectious spirit as well as a cinematic exorcism of sorts, clearing away the demons that surrounded his final days.
full review

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