PRODIGAL SONS — Documentary Retroview

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prodigal sons posterIn Prodigal Sons, transgender filmmaker Kimberly Reed documents her return to the rural Montana town where she grew up — as Paul McKerrow, the local high school football star and the younger brother of Marc McKerrow, the emotionally disturbed adopted son of Paul’s birth parents. Kimberly has had a sex change operation since she last saw her family and high school peers. She’s entirely comfortable in her new identity and life style, but she’s facing the difficult dual challenge of revisiting high school cohorts from years past and a sibling whose jealousies about her bloodline and high school popularity have often erupted into actual violence.

Yes, this is an intensely dramatic story with the sorts of twists and turns that turn people into soap opera fans — including the discovery that Kimberly’s older brother Marc is actually the biological grandson of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth! But, ulnlike soap opera machinations, the tale told in Prodigal Sons is entirely true and Kimberly Reed’s telling of it is startlingly honest, extraordinarily honest, and completely fascinating.

As the film’s director and leading subject, Kimberly shares all sides of herself. She is sensible, sensitive and candid, and she brilliantly establishes a tone of contemplative empathy and compassion, especially for Marc and his disturbing behavior.

Intimate interviews with former friends brought together for the high school reunion, plus footage of Kimberly at the reunion with her friends and with her family are smartly interwoven with footage of Paul playing football back in the day. Added in is compelling coverage of the current family dynamics,including following Kimberly and Marc on a journey to Croatia for Marc to trace his roots by meeting with Orson Welles’ companion. All of this adds up to a compelling and thoroughly captivating autobiographical documentary — with no holds barred and all secrets bared.

FILM DETAILS:

Title: Prodigal Sons

Directors: Kimberly Reed

Release Date: August 29, 2008

Running Time: 86 minutes

Language: English

Screenwriter: Kimberly Reed

Distribution Company: First Run Features

Trailer

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