A new documentary film explores the life of a murdered father so his son–born to the woman that murdered his father–will one day be able to know who his father was. Dear Zachary opens Oct. 31 in New York City and Nov. 7 in Los Angeles, and is currently being shown at several film festivals.
Kurt Kuenne, who was friends with Dr. Andrew Bagby since they were seven and who videotaped his friend starting when they were children (so there’s lots of footage to work with), set out to “interview everyone who ever knew and loved Andrew” as a “quest to bring a man back to life.” Here’s how he explains why he made the film:
“When my close friend Dr. Andrew Bagby (1973-2001) was murdered by his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Shirley Turner, I decided to make a film to memorialize him for family and friends. When I learned that Shirley Turner was pregnant with Andrew’s son, whom she later named Zachary, my project took on a whole new meaning. My mission became to make this film for Zachary, as a letter from all of Andrew’s loved ones to him, which he could one day view and get to know his father.”
If you’re at all familiar with the case or recall news reports, you know that the story–and film–are even more devastating than that sounds.
Proceeds will benefit two memorial funds created in Andrew’s memory, and Kuenne says that he hopes the film will have an effect on Canada’s laws, where citizens “have the power to prevent a recurrence of this catastrophe, the power to compel their Parliament to deny bail to people accused of murder pending a speedy and fair trial, so that innocent lives are not continually put at unnecessary risk,” he writes.
Here’s the trailer: