Instead of writing this review, I am willing to do anything else. I am willing to smoke a cigarette (something that I do not usually do, except if I have been drinking) adjust my factory settings on my computer, play with my dog, surf aimlessly on the internet, or watch a centipede make a perilous journey down our railing. Anything to not have to relive the emotions I experienced while watching this documentary. But I guess I will anyway.
Dear Zachary was made by a man who lost one of his best friends. Taken too soon from him, the filmmaker decided to make a visual scrap-book to his unborn child. While this may seem precious, it is not what it seems. You see this best friend, he was murdered by his ex girlfriend who found out shortly after the event that she was pregnant with his baby. So the parents of the murdered man pick up and move themselves to be with their only grandchild. This of course is just the surface of the film. What lies underneath is much more devastating and heartbreaking.
While I was watching this film, I could not help but think that I would like to meet these parents. They seemed to be two of the most kind-hearted, wonderful human beings. Why all of this happened to them is beyond comprehension. The pure love and admiration that the filmmaker has for these two people is so beautiful to watch. It was a miracle that these parents stayed so warm and caring to everyone around them after losing such an integral part of their lives. If such devastating events would have happened to me, I probably would have been a complete mess. I don’t even know what I would do if my dog died, let alone anyone that I actually birthed (I haven’t done that yet, thank god).
This film resists normal criticism because of the personal nature of the film. Any flubs, any items that the filmmaker chooses to leave in that maybe would have made a tighter narrative if left out, all lead to the emotional impact of this film. I can tell it was a labor of love, made not only to mourn the passing of someone great, but also to celebrate a life so rich and amazing. I ran the gauntlet of emotion while watching this film. I will probably never watch this film again. But I am glad I watched it the first time.