Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about His Father is one of the best documentaries of the last ten years, but it will absolutely wreck you.
The 2008 film by Kurt Kuenne is about how his close friend Andrew Bagby was murdered by his ex-girlfriend Shirley Jane Turner. That dark story took a much darker turner when, while Turner was out on bail (the story takes place in Canada, which has far more lenient bail laws than the U.S.), murdered their 13-month-old child Zachary before committing suicide. Kuenne then follows Andrew’s parents, David and Kathleen, who mounted a campaign to reform the country’s bail laws.
The movie is rough at points, but it’s supposed to be. It’s a raw, visceral, emotional experience, and I highly encourage people to watch it even though it’s not an easy movie to see.
A 14-minute sequel short [via Pajiba] has now been released that follows the film’s success on the festival circuit, how the movie created a real change in Canada’s laws, and how the film even stopped some people from wanting to commit suicide. This is the power of great art, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Once you’ve seen the film (it’s available on Netflix), watch the bittersweet epilogue below: