This film will hurt you.
That’s my only warning; “Dear Zachary: a letter to a son about his father” (2008) is one of the more unusual documentaries I’ve ever seen. In 2001, Dr. Andrew Bagby was murdered; the most likely suspect was his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Shirley Turner. After some initial questioning from the police, she fled to her hometown in Newfoundland, Canada. While the initial extradition hearings were proceeding, she announced she was pregnant with Bagby’s baby. In the wake of the news of the pregnancy and Turner’s release from jail during the hearings’ delay, Andrew’s parents, Kate and David Bagby, moved to Newfoundland to fight for custody of their grandson.
This is not a love story.
I say that upfront just so you know that “The Weather Underground” is not an affectionate missive to the ideals of 1960s, or to that era’s radicals, or terrorism of any kind. What it is is a window into the mind of a group of notorious domestic terrorists. Still, the aura of ‘cool’ inhabits the documentary’s subjects, American revolutionaries in a volatile time (what is it about a rebel?).
About a month or so ago, I made my first (but hopefully not last) sojourn to Amoeba Music in Hollywood. While I was there, I looked through the used rock section and decided to pick up Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense.”
I like the Heads, but I only know one of their albums (“Little Creatures,” if you’re curious); I didn’t even know that I was buying a soundtrack (more or less) rather than an album. Oh well; I loved the CD anyway.
What the hell was I thinking?
That was my main thought after I finished watching “Bus 174″ at approximately 5:30 a.m. (a bit past my normal bedtime). On a whim, I decided to watch a documentary about a hostage situation in Brazil, which is also about the larger class divide in that country, before I went to bed. Again, what the hell was I thinking?