MovieRob’s Birthday Bash of Favorites 2020 (#19 of 47) – Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008) – Encore Review 4


January is my birthday month, so I decided that I would try and do something quite unique and special for this milestone in my life. I will be turning 46, so I decided to watch 47 (46+1 for good luck) of my all time favorite movies in a random order over the course of this month.  I have reviewed every one of these films already, but I will now give new perspectives on them all. Every one of these films received a 10/10 scoring from me.  Some of these reviews will contain spoilers so if you have never seen them before, I recommend that you read some of my previous reviews of the film that were spoiler free before reading on…

Hope you enjoy!

This is film #19 of the 47.

Let’s continue with… Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Initial Viewing Memories – I saw this film by accident a bit over four years ago and it made such an impact on my life that it still remains my favorite documentary ever.  It is made with so much love and affection while still shows that even a film so dear to a director’s heart can speak for the dead and still not feel as if it is pandering or trying to manipulate the audience due to it’s pursuit of finding a way to change a broken element in the governmental system.

“Zachary, You’re a lucky little boy and you’re an unfortunate little boy. You’re father, who you’ll never know, was such an amazing guy and he touched so many people in such a short period of time. And you’re an unfortunate little boy because you’re more than likely to grow up without your biological father or your biological mother. But with a little bit of luck, you’ll get to grow up with Andrew’s parents. And let me tell you this. They did the most amazing job. You couldn’t ask for two better people. ” – Clark Simpson

Number of Times Seen – 5 (11 Oct 2015, 11 Jan 2016, 24 Jul 2017, 30 Dec 2018 and 12 Jan 2020)

Link to original reviewHere , Here and Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – Documentary about the murder of a young doctor in a small Pennsylvania town and how this murder changed the lives of all of his friends and family while also trying to bring change to the way that the law works and is enforced.

My Take on it – Such a superbly powerful film that isn’t diminished upon rewatching it.

This film is amazing and poignant throughout and despite knowing the whole story, I was still able to feel so much for the characters as the story moves in directions that one might not expect.

Some of what transpires in the film seems unbelievable but that is part of what makes this film so unique and emotional.

One of the best things about this film is the fact that it is made with so much love and affection by the director Kurt Kuenne who tells this entire tale from a very personal place that helps make the viewer feel as if they are part of this circle of friends and family directly affected by the events of the film.

This must have been such a difficult film to make due to the emotional connections involved, yet Kuenne finds a way to still get this story made in order to shout out to the world that things like this happen and that there are ways to try and avoid it if the laws are in place and of course enforced properly.

The pacing of this film is exceptional and the rapid fire style of editing these interviews and segments together allows the viewer to feel even more involved in everything that is transpiring.

This film is just 90 minutes long yet it is so poignant and emotional in all that it does that it will leave the viewer in total shock and awe and wishing that there was so much more!!!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Winner of the NBR Top Five Documentaries in 2008 (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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