"I don't like documentaries." It's a phrase that, as a film fan, you will likely have heard from countless people. It comes from the same place as "I don't like subtitles/black and white films/fun," where either laziness or simply an unwillingness to put a little extra effort into an experience to get something back leads to a broadly dismissive statement. You can, however, see the logic in the argument: if you wanted to have to read along with your entertainment, you would have picked up a book; and black and white movies are, like, old... And documentaries feel a bit like homework; you're given lots of facts and arguments and are expected to think and have opinions. Ugh!
|"Move me from the fire, I'm burning."|
There are few types of film more varied and more capable of actually affecting a person than a documentary (although fair's fair, they're also some of the most untruthful, manipulative bullshit possible), and yet so many will point blank refuse to give them a chance because they think it's boring, or don't like sad stories, or are uncomfortable facing nasty truths. When you don't want to experience things that have changed lives and altered the course of human society (for better or worse) because it seems like too much effort, you are in dire need of an encouraging kick up the backside.
The crux of that whole introduction? You people stop whinging and watch some documentaries; they're amazing pieces of art and culture and you're doing yourself a disservice by not giving them a chance. As you might have already guessed, today's film is a documentary; a very good one at that. May I introduce you to Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About his Father?
|It's just behind that ocean of tears there.|
|On the right.|
Point being it only goes downhill from there, with each turn of the tale (un)lucky enough to have been caught at the time it happened by Kuenne (or so we're led to believe; we have to stay sceptical when dealing with documentary chronology). This means we get to see Bagby's family and friends go through some pretty harrowing stuff with the candour that most "this is what happened" after-the-fact documentaries often lose, all at the hands of this monster:
|That baby's got fucking motives, man...|
It's untidy, messy even at points, but so bursting with absolutely visceral passion that you can't help getting swept up in the family's ordeal. I can't remember who said it (help me if you can) but someone once said that you should leave a documentary angry, hungry for change, and Dear Zachary delivers on that ravenous desire for righteous justice in spadefuls.
If you say you don't like documentaries or don't see the point in them, I implore you to put this on. If you feel anything by the end, then you can understand what these films are for.
Overall Ben Equivalence Rating
Screaming at a Slasher Movie Victim to Fucking Notice the Monster!!! -
Like a train wreck in slow motion you can see exactly what's coming but, much to your dismay and frustration, there's absolutely nothing you can do to to stop it.