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      Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father Review

      Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father poster

      Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

      Maureen M. Hart, Chicago Tribune

      A documentary of love and loss, "Dear Zachary" is a last gift to a departed friend, a filmmaker's salute to the childhood buddy who acted in Kuenne's earliest productions.

      Dr. Andrew Bagby was 28 when he was shot to death in a Pennsylvania park Nov. 5, 2001. His parents, David and Kathleen, forced to ID their only child at the morgue, were sustained in large part by his legion of friends, many of whom appear in the film. An ex-girlfriend named Shirley Turner was the main suspect, and she decamped for her native Canada as Pennsylvania authorities built their case. Awaiting extradition in Newfoundland, she announced she was pregnant with Bagby's child, and his parents, Kathleen and David, gave up their life in California and moved to Canada to craft a tie to the baby, Zachary, enduring a relationship with the person they believed killed their son to be close to their grandson. Kuenne began his film as a video time capsule, so that Zachary could know the father who died before he was born, but drawn-out legal maneuvering took the tale into an even more tragic place. Bring tissues.

      - Maureen M. Hart

      Running time: 1:35. Plays Fri.-Thu. at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. No MPAA rating; parents warned for language and violent imagery.

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