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Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 11,647 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 55 user | 63 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.

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Title: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kurt Kuenne ...
Himself (voice)
Andrew Bagby ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Andrew Bagby)
David Bagby ...
Himself - Father
Kathleen Bagby ...
Herself - Mother
Shirley Turner ...
Herself - Ex-Girlfriend (archive footage) (as Dr. Shirley Turner)
Zachary Andrew Turner ...
Himself - Son (archive footage) (as Zachary Andrew Bagby)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Heather Arnold ...
Herself - Former Fiance (as Dr. Heather Arnold)
Jon Atkinson ...
Himself - Friend
Bob Bagby ...
Himself - Uncle (archive footage)
Earlene Bagby ...
Herself - Bob's Widow
James Bagby ...
Himself - Cousin
Linda Bagby ...
Herself - Aunt
Pat Bagby ...
Himself - Uncle
Jason Baldwin ...
Himself - Highschool Friend
Derek Barnard ...
Himself - Uncle
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Storyline

In 2001, Andrew Bagby, a medical resident, is murdered not long after breaking up with his girlfriend. Soon after, when she announces she's pregnant, one of Andrew's many close friends, Kurt Kuenne, begins this film, a gift to the child. Friends, relatives, and colleagues say warm and loving things about Andrew, home movies confirm his exuberance. Andrew's parents, Kathleen and David, move to Newfoundland, Canada where the ex-girlfriend has gone. They await an arrest and trial of the murderer. They negotiate with the ex-girlfriend to visit their grandchild, Zachary, and they seek custody. Is there any justice; is Zachery a sweet and innocent consolation for the loss of their son? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Not Rated

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Release Date:

January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Kathleen Bagby: And the policeman who found him said that, um, he had wrapped him in a blanket rather than a plastic bag and, uh, he and another officer carried him gently back. And he made very sure that he kept the body very far away from the wicked woman who had murdered him.
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User Reviews

 
Intimate and Passionate: SEE IT!
13 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

Voyeurism is a funny thing. Watching other people's little dramas or lives may seem boring at the outset, but often times it can be just as interesting, if not more so, than anything a big studio can come up with. With "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father," we as an audience get a glimpse into a man that we otherwise would never have known. And after viewing this film, I have to graciously thank writer/director Kurt Kuenne for this.

After the murder of his lifelong best friend, Dr. Andrew Bagby, filmmaker Kurt Kuenne decided to go and interview everyone who knew Andrew in order to give his late friend's soon-to-be born son a way to know his father. But unbeknownst to anyone, this film would turn into something completely different.

Reviewing this film is difficult. For one thing, no one had any idea where this film was going (Kuenne, who narrates, openly admits this, although no one could possibly imagine what was going to happen). But more importantly, this film has something that many films don't: passion. It has a voice. This film will make you laugh, cry, scream in both terror and anger, and so much more. Even the most politically, one-sided films do not speak to the viewer like this film. In that sense, this film is a masterpiece.

But, on a critical scale, it comes up a little short. For me, the most effective bits were the interviews about Andrew. Those were funny and touching. Even if it added a few extra minutes to the running time, it would have been worth it. I felt like I could have watched a whole day's worth of interviews about Andrew. But the film gets into the struggle between Shirley Turner, Andrew's ex-girlfriend and probable murderer and Andrew's parents, who are trying to seek custody Andrew's son, Zachary. The film sort of loses focus at times, and it really inhibits Kuenne's goal in letting us know who Andrew was. At the end, it almost seems like a piece of propaganda (see the movie and you'll understand). Judging by what happens, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but still. Of minor note, the film only shows the good things about Andrew. Not that Kuenne turns him into some sort of flawless figure (Bagby does that himself), but it would have made Bagby seem more well-rounded.

Yet I wholeheartedly recommend this film. It introduces us to a wonderful person, and his name was Andrew Bagby.


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