My wife and I don’t get a chance to sit through very many movies all at once. Typically, it takes 2 or more evenings for us to get through a whole film, since our time is limited to the hour or two after all of our kids are asleep, assuming that we don’t get interrupted by our newborn baby or toddler.
That being said, we watched a movie a couple of nights ago that was so interesting and well-made that we couldn’t wait to finish it the next night. As with many of the things we watch, this was available via our Roku device, which streams movies from Netflix to our TV.
“Dear Zachary: A letter to a son about his father” is quite possibly the best and most memorable documentary that I have ever seen. We were intrigued because it is one of the few selections we have seen with a 5-star rating from other Netflix users. It turned out to be time well spent.
In a nutshell, “Dear Zachary” was made by an independent filmmaker, Kurt Kuenne, who wanted to provide a complete portrait of his murdered friend Andrew for Andrew’s newborn son Zachary. He tirelessly travelled around the country, interviewing Andrew’s friends and family, and he included a lot of footage from when they were kids growing up together.
If you commit to watching this movie, please be advised that it is somewhat emotionally draining, but it is an editing masterpiece, and the story is incredibly compelling. Be prepared to cry – maybe a lot. As you get to know the people who loved Andrew (including Kuenne himself), the emotions are palpable and raw.
I don’t often give such a ringing endorsement, and this is certainly the type of movie that requires more attention and thought than average, but my wife and I have been talking about it for days. I think it’s very worthy of more exposure and word-of-mouth.
It was released last year, and it has received a lot of attention from critics and film festival audiences alike, including being selected as one of the Top 5 Documentaries of 2008 by the National Board of Review.
If you have a chance, don’t miss this one.