Usually I take a pretty light tone with the movie reviews I re-post here  from Letterboxd, but this one is a bit more serious. I’m simply re-posting without a ton of preamble, and encouraging you to see a very heartfelt and memorable documentary.

It’s called Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, and it’s the sort of memorable documentary that sticks with you for important reasons. Your philosophies on life, endurance, and sacrifices are called into clear focus when you see what one family handled on a very difficult journey.

Hat tip to my friend Joey for pointing me toward this. I’m not going into great detail about it, and I recommend you avoid too much research so as not to rob yourself of the emotional journey it provides.

As of the time of this writing, it’s still included for streaming on Amazon Prime without additional cost. You can rent if you’re not a member. I recommend you do.

Poster for Dear Zachary

My Review

This is a necessary, thought provoking, impactful documentary that communicates fully the human impact of evil deeds. No tragedy occurs in a bubble; every moment touches more people than you can count.

By turns infuriating, gut-wrenching, and heartbreaking, it will leave you full of the realization that our laws are only as good as the shiftless bureaucracy in charge of enforcing them.

Put together as a document to teach a child about his dead father, it accompanies the filmmaker as he embarks on a journey across the North American continent to collect memories and testify to the truth of tragedy. It becomes a testament to the failure at every level of human beings who see people as names on paper. Worse, it exposes how individual judgment calls erode the function of systems and our faith in them.

I strongly recommend you watch this film, but be prepared: if there’s an ounce of human emotion within you, it will be a difficult journey. But it’s one worth taking.

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