DVD Review: Dear Zachary
A letter to his son about his father.
When I watched Making a Murder on Netflix, one of the recommended films that came up when I finished was this one. I wasn't aware of the story, though I knew child custody was a big part of it. So I went in with an open mind.
Film maker Kurt Kuenne's initial intention with this documentary was to make it about his friend, Andrew, the documentary's first subject after he was murdered by his ex girlfriend, Shirley. After his body was found, Shirley fled the U.S back to Canada and announced she was pregnant with Andrew's son. Andrew's parents also moved back to Canada to fight for custody, and Kurt made a cross country road trip trying to gather as much footage as possible so Zachary could know his father as he got older.
It's easy to rage over cases where the justice system fails families. I felt the same way watching Making a Murderer, the Paradise Lost movies, etc. This one caused me to have tears streaming down my face by the end of it. I just didn't expect it to go the way it did. I can't even begin to wrap my head around the judge in this case and her completely idiotic handling of Shirley's bail. It just keeps getting worse.
It's not the best made documentary out there. In fact, there's a use of sound effects - and if you've seen it you probably know exactly what I'm talking about - that feels so sensational and inappropriate that it actually threw me out of the whole thing for a bit. It was really disappointing because up until then I really enjoyed the fast paced, and even slightly amusing touches that were there. They felt true to how people described Andrew; by having a wicked sense of humor. It doesn't make the subject matter any less important though. Murder on a Sunday Morning similarly wasn't the best made one out there, but still packed a powerful punch.
This is on Netflix instant in the U.S. Get your tissues.
Memorbale Quote: "Then I found a new meaning." - Kurt Kuenne