January 18th, 2012


The Most Beautiful Heartbreak

Now and again something finds you when you most need it. Sometimes, if you're really lucky, that thing will open your eyes in a way they've never been before and you are forever changed. The best documentary films are transformative things that don't merely serve to educate, they go into your heart and mind and make a home there for a while. Especially the ones about people - so that you will know they happened.

YOU need to know this story, and see the film so that you will know these people happened. You need to share this story with everyone you know. Make this post viral so that more people can know what I'm sharing with you. Films like this don't come around often, but they definitely have the power to change us. That's worth watching, and ultimately how we keep memories of people alive, because they happened - and that's important.

I must warn you though, watching this is no easy journey. It will test you and force you to find your limits. It will break your heart in the most beautiful way possible. It will devastate and ravage your peace of mind for a while, but if you stick it out you will find a kind of humanity, hope, and deep, unending love you couldn't imagine existed. I'm not being dramatic either. This is as real as it gets. This is a film about tragedy giving birth to activism. It's about friendship and commitment in the face of injustice. It's as much about love as it is about evil, only in the end love wins as it always should.

On November 5, 2001, Dr. Andrew Bagby was murdered in a parking lot in western Pennsylvania; the prime suspect, his ex-girlfriend Dr. Shirley Turner, promptly fled the United States for St. John’s, Canada, where she announced that she was pregnant with Andrew’s child. She named the little boy Zachary.

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne, Andrew’s oldest friend, began making a film for little Zachary as a way for him to get to know the father he’d never meet. But when Shirley Turner was released on bail in Canada and was given custody of Zachary while awaiting extradition to the U.S., the film’s focus shifted to Zachary’s grandparents, David & Kathleen Bagby, and their desperate efforts to win custody of the boy from the woman they knew had murdered their son.

What happened next, no one ever could have foreseen…

Collapse )