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Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

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Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Old 12-05-08, 07:18 AM
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Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

As this was just named as one of the top 5 documentaries by the National Board of Review, and I couldn't find a discussion for it here, I figured that I would start one. Here is the plot, from imdb:

A filmmaker trying to memorialize his murdered friend discovers that the woman who killed him was pregnant with his late friend's son.

This documentary is based on a case that happened locally (partially). Although I've yet to see it, I know how the case unfolds, and I am really curious to see how the documentary covers it. This is airing on MSNBC on December 7th at 9PM EST, so from the reviews and awards it has won, it definitely seems like something worth catching on TV. I am pissed that my satellite company doesn't carry MSNBC, so I still won't be able to see it until DVD or another channel picks it up.

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Old 12-05-08, 07:31 AM
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This was was one of my favorite docs for 2008. It's incredibly well done and powerful.
Spoiler:
Because the nature and direction of this documentary changed dramatically during the filming
, knowing as little about how it unfolds as possible before seeing it should enhance the impact of this documentary for viewers.
Old 12-07-08, 03:43 PM
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Just a bump to say that this airs on MSNBC tonight if anyone wants to see it.
Old 12-07-08, 10:24 PM
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Oh god that was hard to watch.. but very well done.
Old 12-07-08, 10:56 PM
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What a fantastic documentary. I wish MSNBC hadn't shoved so many ads in there. I know that that's how they get their money, but it just seemed disrespectful to start hawking Subarus and weight loss formulas in the middle of that tragedy.

But the doc itself? Absolutely fantastic.
Old 12-08-08, 08:58 AM
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didn't realize this was on last night, DV-R'ed it, will catch later in the week.
Old 05-26-09, 01:59 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Finally caught this last night. What a powerful movie-watching experience. I don't think I've ever been emotionally beaten down by a movie like that before. It's painful to sit through, but immensely rewarding in the end.

Resist the temptation to Google this movie before you see it...you must go in without any idea of what you're about to see. You will truly see the best and the worst of what humans are capable of.
Old 05-26-09, 05:06 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

This is also available on Netflix Watch Now.
Old 05-26-09, 05:15 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

One of the best things I've ever seen.

A prime example of why, even in today's 'modern enlightened' world, there are rare times when a man has to take things into his own hands and do what's right even though he may take the fall for it.

Seeing that grandfather realize that too late, the genuine emotion there, was heavy stuff.
Old 05-26-09, 08:34 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

See this film!

Dear Zachary is an absolutely incredible documentary that engrossed me completely. One of the best experiences I have ever had watching a film. Deeply, I mean, DEEPLY affecting. Certainly nothing I will ever forget. Absolutely astonishing.

Netflix Watch Instantly
Rent it
See it!
Old 05-27-09, 09:32 AM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

I generally was floored by the story, but technically I thought the editing was very rushed and too frenetic, granted there was alot of story going on, it was exhausting and ultimately painfully sad. The DVD's supplements as according to Slant Magazine:

"An exquisite fold-out, enviro-friendly cardboard package featuring an artist's conception of the Bagby timeline and an introduction by efilmcritic's Erik Childress almost offsets the annoyance that is the DVD's slip-sleeve case. First up is a handful of deleted/extended sequences that serve best to highlight the intense scrutiny that pared the film down to its final form, and more heartbreak comes in the form of three additional videos, two of Andrew and one 16mm of a young Zachary playing in the driveway. A slew of web links take the viewer to info on the Turner case, various activist and reform websites, and David Bagby's "Dance with the Devil" chronicle of the matter. Last is a round of trailers for additional Oscilloscope releases: Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, Flow, Wendy and Lucy, Frontrunners, and Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie."
Old 05-30-09, 02:33 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

I have this movie, but I just haven't been able to watch it yet. Just knowing about the whole story, as well as having a young son myself now, I just don't have the stomach for it yet.
Old 05-31-09, 03:30 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

This movie destroyed me for almost a week after I watched it. I had no knowledge of the events and everything was shock after shock. Amazing movie, but I could never watch it again.
Old 06-01-09, 11:57 AM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Where in Newfoundland do you live, Movieking? I'm in St. John's.
Old 06-01-09, 12:43 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

I haven't seen the doc, but I know the whole story behind it, which is why I don't want to see it, as I know it'll just piss me off:
Spoiler:
what an unbelievable crazy ****!
Old 06-02-09, 09:43 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Just finished watching this. I don't think I've ever been as moved by a film, documentary or otherwise.

But I'll never watch it again. I just couldn't.
Old 03-24-10, 05:08 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

this had been sitting on my DVR since NBC aired it in december of '08 and i finally got around to watching it. i really don't know what to say about it. such a heartbreaking story.
Old 03-29-10, 11:02 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Just watched this harrowing and very sad documentary.

I thought while watching what happened was very sad and then it just got worse.

Like others have said, please try to watch this without doing any research on the topic. It is very emotional and will definitely leave you shocked.
Old 10-02-10, 11:28 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

My best friend told me about this movie last week and I promised him I'd watch it. He didn't tell me anything about it other than "it was about these grandparents that were trying to get custody of their son's kid", but it was a powerful documentary.

I think it was the most powerful thing I've ever watched. If you haven't seen this, don't Google the case (like the above people mentioned) and don't click my spoiler.

When they said
Spoiler:
that the bitch killed herself and Zachary, it was numbing...I couldn't believe it. I thought the second half of the movie would be about the custody battle.
Old 10-02-10, 11:45 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

I re-watched it today ( I know , I know I'm a gluten for punishment) I was devastated all over again.
Old 10-02-10, 11:50 PM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

I don't think I'll ever be able to watch it again. One, because of the content, but also because now that I know the complete story, I don't think the layout of the movie would have the same effect.
Old 10-03-10, 04:20 AM
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Thanks Tarantino for bumping this thread. When this first came out I wanted to check it out but never got around to it. Seeing the thread I resolved not to let it go unwatched and rented it on Amazon, just finished.

Spoiler:
What a devastating movie. I'm so emotionally drained at this point. In the back of my mind I worried that she would kill herself and Zachary, but when it hit I wasn't expecting it. I don't know how the grandparents survived through all of this. The strength they have is incredible. Like Tarantino, I figured the second half of the movie would be about the custody battle or maybe her taking the kid and fleeing the country again, only to be apprehended. But when they said she had disappeared, I knew it wasn't her just running away.


I don't think I'll ever watch this again, but I think everyone should see it.

I actually really liked the way he shot the documentary. I think the rapid editing and combination of leisurely and frantic scenes was very effective. It was able to convey happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, and panic.

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