Reney Warrington: Reeltime | Film Columns

Dear Zachary – a shocking story
Title: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
Directed and written by: Kurt Kuenne
Runtime: 1 hr 35 min
Rotten Tomatoes Score:
Reney’s Score: 95%

I didn’t see this one coming. I did not predict being so completely overwhelmed and saddened by this true tale. Know as little as you can about this documentary before you go and watch it.

In a nutshell
Andrew Bagby dated the wrong girl. Shirley was 12 years older than him, with three children and prone to obsessive behaviour. He tried getting rid of her. She shot and killed him. His best friend then picks up a camera to film a tribute to Andrew. A shocking story unfolds.

Mood of the film
It feels like a home movie initially, but then quickly picks up intent and anger and ends up being a poignant tribute, but not to who you think.

Best performance
David Bagby, Andrew’s father, leaves a lasting impression. His anger towards Shirley frightened me, but his plans to kill her I could quite easily comprehend.

Standout scene
The series of photographs capturing the time David and Kate Bagby were forced to spend with the woman who murdered their son. Your jaw will drop.

Kurt, friend and filmmaker, never gets into why Andrew was vulnerable to a nut job like Shirley.

Is the film relevant today?
Do we still have obsessive nuts and naive, sweet people falling for them?

Does it cop out?
Not for a second.

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