Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
Director: Kurt Kuenne
a documentary about the murder of andrew bagby.
this movie totally gutted me. if you know me, then you know i hate to be emotional about things, but i seriously cried through this whole movie, sobbed even. i'm getting emotional writing about it now. i couldn't sleep. totally and completely effected by this. it's been a week since i watched it because i couldn't write about it without feeling that raw wound.
it's presented while the events are still unfolding in the case. so the documentary keeps shifting in it's focus and intent. it was made by a childhood friend of the victim. the prime suspect is andrew bagby's obsessed ex girlfriend and the evidence is pretty damning. she flees to newfoundland where she announces through her lawyer that she is 4 months pregnant with andrew's baby. this is where the focus shifts and the director travels all over the country talking to relatives, friends and colleagues, collecting as much of andrew's life so the baby can know his father. extradition proceedings go so slowly, andrew's parents actually move to newfoundland to be close for their grandchild's birth. they also sue for custody.
i was concerned in the beginning of the film that this was one-sided and making the mother seem like a terrible human being, but by the middle i could see that, in fact, she was terrible and a psycho to boot. through phone call recordings and correspondences her psychosis begins to come to light. she uses the baby to manipulate andrew's parents, who are forced to deal with the accused murderer of their own child. they have to participate in this woman's existence to participate in their grandson's life. the justice system totally screws these poor people over. completely. i don't want to give too much away about it so i will stop here. this was an incredibly powerful and moving film. and that, coming from me, should tell you something.