DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER (Kurt Kuenne, U.S.). 95 minutes. Friday (April 25), 6:30 pm, Bloor; Sunday (April 27), 11 am, Isabel Bader. Rating: NNNN
What starts out as a fairly straightforward home-movie-driven bio doc about the director’s best friend takes a hairpin turn into something far more gripping when it’s revealed – almost casually – that the film’s subject, 28-year-old Andrew Bagby, was murdered by his ex-girlfriend. The result is heart-wrenching, thought-provoking and infuriating as the killer flees home to St. John’s, where she battles extradition back to the U.S.
Thanks to flaws in the Canadian judicial system, she is jailed and released on bail twice before a judge can render a final decision. And when she announces that she’s pregnant with Andrew’s child, his parents move from California to Newfoundland to fight for custody in a case that made national headlines two years ago. It’s said there’s nothing worse than the death of your child, and this film drives that point home harder and with the utmost care and precision.