A blend of personal favorites and films that I consider to be the "greatest." Top two-hundred is definitive. Only 1940-2015.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
A filmmaker trying to memorialize his murdered friend discovers that the woman who killed him was pregnant with his late friend's son.
Recommended to me on my Lend me your Heart list (which can be found here)
So it finally happened. I met my Nemesis. This film completely and utterly wrenched every emotion imaginable from me and left me gutted, sad, hopeful and amazed. And I cried and that is something I just don't do.
I guess anyone that has seen this film will agree with me that going in blind is the only way to fully appreciate the full extent of what director Kuenne has created here. Rationally, purely on a cinematic level, this film is astounding as it is. It is edited, narrated and structured perfectly. It manages to slowly suck you in and unfolds its story and eventual sentiment…
Dear Kathleen and David,
I can only imagine the pain that you must have felt. Your son was your world and he was taken away from you. Not by nature, but by fate and hate. Your souls would have been shattered. Your World must have come crashing upon you. But with pain comes God’s gift. It was like Paradise Regained. You had a chance to see your son in a different human being. A cute little new born can do miracles to a scarred soul. I know it would have felt like heaven after all the excruciating pain that you both had gone through. But then, that also was not to last. Heaven became hell in one single fateful day.…
I feel like I got ran over by a semi-truck. I feel physical and emotional pain.
I decided to make a movie, to travel far and wide, to interview everyone who ever knew and loved Andrew.
Films often deconstruct subjects of different natures, but this one deconstructs it's viewers on an emotional level far beyond anything I was ready to experience. I went into the film with a minimal knowledge of what exactly the documentary was about, astonishing for this day and age to say the least, so needless to say I was shocked and disturbed several times during my viewing.
Director Kurt Kuenne shows incredible restraint with this tightly paced documentary clocking in at 95 minutes. I would imagine it would have been easy to indulge in some aspects of the film considering…
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father didn't just make me cry. Oh no, definitely not just that. I felt like I was thrown under a 50 mile line of semi-trucks and tractors, only to be thrown off a bridge after that entire ordeal. The rage, the saddening horror, the aching humanity, the relentless grief, the haunting remembrance; this massively potent film is as truthful and passionate as anything that I've ever seen. I am hardly an expert on documentaries, but I've never dealt with one better than this.
And it isn't just the terrifying and chill-inducing story that makes Dear Zachary worth watching. The narration, the sublime editing, and the genuine earnestness of the entire production blew me away. I was left trembling, shaking, and weirdly, wanting more. It is an immaculate achievement in both storytelling and emotional resonance, and it is without a doubt, the most physically demanding film that I have ever experienced.
Just a couple of days ago I claimed to probably never watch this documentary again. But today I did anyway and I… Can’t. Stop. Crying. Fuck.
What can be said about this doc?! What a crazy true story. Just kept catching me by surprise (in a horrible way).
My friend saw this last year and told me to watch it and know nothing about it.
I did just that and it is the best way to see it just so all the beats really do hit you as they should, because boy is this emotional.
It's all kinds of shocking and sad. It's a love letter, a memorial, a dedication, an exploration, a documentation. A multi-purpose doc that works in every department.
Damn, this doc is so good. It really is. Like, Christ, watch this and know nothing, please.
I was very…
I never cry at films but this absolutely floored me. It seems strange that one of the best twists I've seen has come in a documentary, but I am glad I went into this film blind as I would advise others to do. The content is delivered with an obvious sincerity of emotion and the pace is cleverly controlled by cuts to different interviews, clipping the language to be interwoven brilliantly until that gut blow. I can't comment too much about the end of the film as I couldn't see through the tears by that point.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
the part where they find out the baby died reminded me of the angry pepe meme
I cried so much in this film
- probably the second saddest movie I've ever seen behind Grave of the Fireflies
- will devastate you emotionally
A great documentary. It has a clear protagonist, a clear antagonist. It's edited expertly and filmed very carefully. It has a touching and sadenning subject matter. But it's message is absolutely clear and beautiful. It offers a redemptive hope even in the worst possible circumstances. I'll most likely not be watching it again, though, because Dear Zachary takes a serious toll on its audience.
This was absolutely heartbreaking. I have nothing else to say about it. Just devastating.
Do I need any words to explain this? Is there still some to salvage a simple one-liner review that I'll later regret? I know it's not a good idea to be emotionally swayed by a documentary with some sort of political agenda, but there I was, clenching every part of my bone until the very end. Now it would be rational to not base your entire opinion on bail reform from the freak incident documented in this movie, but it did make me interested on the subject. But this film wasn't about looking at the Zachary Turner case in an objective manner, it was to emulate the experiences of the friends and family of him and his father Andrew Bagby,…
I cried multiple times
Suggest any, but please do not state the twist in the comments :)
It has to be a reveal, something…
I put the question out there on twitter and got a great response. If someone had never seen a movie…