“Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

Tessa Herzer, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” is a documentary made to memorialize Andrew Bagby, who was murdered by his ex-girlfriend, Shirley Turner, mother of his son. It was filmed in 2008 by Kurt Kuenne, one of Bagby’s childhood friends. The main people in the film are Andrew Bagby, his parents David and Kathleen Bagby, Shirley Turner, and Zachary Bagby. Many of Andrew’s friends and family make an appearance to help relay his story. This documentary was very good because Kuenne finds ways to make you feel the right emotions by presenting his clips and facts of the case in a logical order that help rally the audience behind the cause of this documentary, which was to inform and fix the problem of the child protective services.

This documentary is about the life and death of Andrew Bagby and actions of his parents after they found out that Andrew’s ex girlfriend and murderer was having his son. They went through the long, extraneous process of trying to get Shirley locked away and getting full custody of Zachary. This process was very aggravating to David and Kat, especially since US law enforcement let her flee to Newfoundland, Canada, which dragged out her trial process even further since she was no longer in a US territory.

In “Dear Zachary,” Kuenne uses real footage of Andrew from his movies that they created when they were younger. He also uses real footage of Andrew when he was speaking, or when he appeared at events such as his friend’s wedding and other outings.

Kuenne also has many interviews included in the documentary because Andrew had many friends and family who cared about him, and they wished to convey to Zachary how they felt about his father. These interviews helped with the plot line since many of them also talked about the order of events that occurred so long ago. One thing that Kuenne actually states in the documentary is that he traveled all over to talk to everyone who was a part of Zachary’s life. From all of these people he also gathered videos and pictures, many of which were shown in the film. The last clips he added into the film were clips of Zachary that were taken by himself or either of his grandparents, Kat and David, who fought for custody of him.

“Dear Zachary” has an interesting feel to it because in many parts, Kuenne overlaps many video clips to help lead up to major events.  Since Kuenne uses actual clips of Andrew and Zachary, the audience feels a deeper connection to them and experiences deeper emotions during happy and sad events. The audio also helps with your experience as well because many audio clips are blended together, with some growing louder and suddenly cutting off.  The effect of this strategy is to provide a lot of build up, followed by an important piece of evidence or a major plot point being stated. These techniques stand out to me and helped with drawing the viewer in and connecting them to the people’s story. There were many important dates that were recorded and put into the movie, which made it very easy to put all the pieces of evidence in order and  helped with the flow of the movie, which was very smooth and easy to follow. The quality of the sound was decent for both the videos and narration. The video quality was pretty good considering he was using a cheaper camera than they use for movies. I also liked his transitions. All of the thematic content didn’t really affect my interpretation of the movie since he was just a normal guy who just happened to have some terrible things happen to him, which also affected his son.

Overall, this was a very good documentary since it does a very good job of connecting with the audience and making people very emotional. I would very strongly recommend this documentary to anyone because of all of its amazing qualities and its saddening plot. It also incorporates many stylistic techniques very well, which also adds to its overall great rating. I think everyone should watch “Dear Zachary” because of the powerful message, the great plotline, and the amazing stylistic techniques that make the movie very moving and amazing.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    Charlie’s Corner: Primus Review

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    “A Series Of Unfortunate Events” Shines And Succeeds In Season Two

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    Why Episode 6 is the Best Star Wars Film

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    “Avengers: Infinity War” Spolier Review

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    Charlie’s Corner: J Cole K.O.D Review

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    Tupac’s Feud With Biggie Smalls

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    “A Quiet Place” Makes A Loud Impact

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    The Importance of Radio Throughout Time

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    Fortnite, is the Hype Real?

  • “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father” Review

    Knight Life

    Charlie’s Corner: Grunge Legends of the 90’s