Prodigal Sons (2010)
Critic Consensus: Fascinating and heartbreakingly honest, Kimberly Reed's family documentary uses its stranger-than-fiction story to speak near-universal truths about family bonds and human identity.
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Critic Reviews for Prodigal Sons
A film that will fascinate inquisitive viewers on multiple levels.
At the heart of Prodigal Sons, a family drama in the form of a succinct, eloquent personal journal, is a sibling rivalry whose reverberations touch upon the very essence of human identity...
Kimberly Reed started out to make a movie about starting over, but then life got in the way. It didn't make her job harder. It made the movie better.
The problem with family-diary documentaries is that some families have too much drama for just one movie.
Audience Reviews for Prodigal Sons
"Prodigal Sons" is an emotional and personal documentary that despite its insight is actually a little hard to watch at times. In it, Kimberly Reed, a magazine editor living in New York City, is returning to Helena, Montana for her 20th high school reunion to see many of her old classmates for the first time since she transitioned from a man to a woman. For the most part, they are accepting, although there is a little confusion around the whole girlfriend thing. The same cannot be said for her adopted brother Marc who she has not talked to in about ten years. The origins of this can be traced back to when Kim(then called Paul) was the center of attention and starting quarterback of the high school football team. Through a strange twist of fate, Marc finally gets the limelight. Sadly, this does not help with the healing of this long simmering family conflict, which is exacerbated by brain injuries and the resultant trauma Marc suffered in a car accident. Like Kim says with sad irony, there is psychological phrase for who she is but none for Marc's condition.
It's pretty much everything it purports to be - the transexual transition, the Orson Welles connection, the sibling rivalry - no more, no less.
This documentary anticipated recording the reaction of Helena Montana to the return of the star high school quarterback - who is now a woman. Instead we have a very private glimpse into the relationship between that woman and her brain injured adopted brother. The brother discovers that he has very famous grandparents but that grand revelation cannot end his spiral downwards.
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