Monday, May 18, 2009

What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire



'Dear Zachary' is a staggering piece of work by filmmaker Kurt Kuenne. It was made after his best friend Dr. Andrew Bagby was murdered. Their friendship blossomed at the age of 7 and continued until the evening of Nov. 5th 2001.

Andrew (28) was discovered with fatal gunshot wounds in a parking lot in western Pennsylvania. The prime suspect, his ex-girlfriend Dr. Shirley Turner, fled the United States to St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. It was here, shortly after the incident, that she announced that she was pregnant with Andrew's child. She named the little boy Zachary.

Kuenne started the documentary to honour Andrew. When he learned of Zachary he decided to make the film for the child; as it may be Zachary's only chance to get to know his father. Taking nearly a decade to make, old footage has been woven with interviews of Andrew's family and friends.



It may sound sentimental but it is hands down one of the most powerful documentaries I've ever watched. I sobbed for about 20 minutes after watching it (which is not something that happens often). It avoids falling into sentimentality. Kuenne deftly weaves the footage at his disposal into a riveting tale of friendship, love, tragedy and strength .It also highlights how the judicial system in Canada needs to be revised. Members of the Canadian governmental systems were hell bent on saving face in the wake of this tragedy rather than admitting their error and taking positive action. It's seriously Oscar-worthy material and I've been telling everyone I've met that they need to watch it.

Kuenne said "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."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I hope this film comes to australia soon.

Green Of Eye, Sharp Of Claw said...

@NM: It's available to buy from amazon.com or .ca but not sure if the region would play in Australia?
Hope you're well?!

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