8.5/10
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Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Crime | January 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:39 | Trailer
A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.

Director:

Kurt Kuenne

Writer:

Kurt Kuenne
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kurt Kuenne Kurt Kuenne ... Self (voice)
Andrew Bagby Andrew Bagby ... Self (archive footage) (as Dr. Andrew Bagby)
David Bagby ... Self - Father
Kathleen Bagby Kathleen Bagby ... Self - Mother
Shirley Turner Shirley Turner ... Self - Ex-Girlfriend (archive footage) (as Dr. Shirley Turner)
Zachary Andrew Turner Zachary Andrew Turner ... Self - Son (archive footage) (as Zachary Andrew Bagby)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Heather Arnold ... Self - Former Fiance (as Dr. Heather Arnold)
Jon Atkinson Jon Atkinson ... Self - Friend
Bob Bagby Bob Bagby ... Self - Uncle (archive footage)
Earlene Bagby Earlene Bagby ... Self - Bob's Widow
James Bagby James Bagby ... Self - Cousin
Linda Bagby Linda Bagby ... Self - Aunt
Pat Bagby Pat Bagby ... Self - Uncle
Jason Baldwin Jason Baldwin ... Self - Highschool Friend
Derek Barnard Derek Barnard ... Self - 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 Zachary a sweet and innocent consolation for the loss of their son? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2013, the Director of this film Kurt Kuenne, posted a video on his YouTube channel talking about what happened after the movie. This includes his and the grandparents activism to change the bail law in Canada. Video title The Legacy of Dear Zachary: A Journey to Change the Law (2013). See more »

Quotes

Himself - Colleague: Zachary, You're a lucky little boy and you're an unfortunate little boy. You're father, who you'll never know, was such an amazing guy and he touched so many people in such a short period of time. And you're an unfortunate little boy because you're more than likely to grow up without your biological father or your biological mother. But with a little bit of luck, you'll get to grow up with Andrew's parents. And let me tell you this. They did the most amazing job. You couldn't ask for two better...
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Alternate Versions

The original cut of the documentary had a run time of over two hours and contains numerous other short scenes, most notably a segment in which Kuenne travels to England to interview Andrew's maternal relatives during a wedding. See more »

User Reviews

 
Inspiration through loss.
26 August 2008 | by shannon-136See all my reviews

It started out as a remembrance for a son about his father and it became so much more.

I saw this film Sunday and it still resides in my heart and haunts me. This is the first documentary I have ever seen that has drawn me in completely, and made me feel as though I am part of the story and a friend to the victim. It was a roller-coaster of emotions and there were quite a few teary-eyed people by the end. I feel I had to give it a proper review, but like many have stated, it's hard to do so without ruining the effect the filmmaker intends. This story pulls you along and unfolds as it does for our narrator, the filmmaker, Kurt Kunne. His story is personal because he grew up with the central figure, Dr. Andrew Bagby.

Andrew's parents, David and Kate, whom I had a chance to meet with after the screening, are lovely people, and I instantly saw why they foster so much love and support throughout the film: They are genuinely kind people who give off a wonderful parental-vibe. They show so much love and hope in the face of almost insurmountable evil. You hold onto their love and hope through the last few minutes, and eventually you find what the narrator finds: inspiration.

The editing and the directing reveal a truly gifted filmmaker, Mr. Kunne, a superb storyteller, bounces back and forth between past and present events. He reveals what happens at several key points which leads us an ending you should rather just see than have me explain.

From what I've read there were several richly deserved standing ovations as the film ventured into the festival circuit. If you have a chance to see, "Dear Zachary," this film will be playing until Thursday of this week at the arc-light cinemas in Hollywood. The filmmaker, Kurt, said the film will be making a return to Hollywood in early November and shall be coming to New York City in late October, MSNBC will be premiering the film December 7th and the DVD shall go on sale some time in mid-FEBRUARY.

I suggest everyone pays their money to see this film for the sake of advocacy groups and to support bail reform in Canada. Although the legal system in Canada is put on trial in this documentary, it reveals a real problem with our own justice system here in the United States, and how some criminals are given preferential treatment over victims and their families' rights.

I cannot tell you how much this film has affected me. How truly inspirational I find David Bagby and Kate Bagby to be…

Please support Academy caliber documentaries, with a strong sense of heart, and a great message of hope. This is a wonderful, albeit tragic and yet inspiring film.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Filming Locations:

Pittsburgh ,Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,886, 2 November 2008

Gross USA:

$18,334

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,334
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MSNBC Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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