Prodigal Sons (Kimberly Reed, 2008): USA

Reviewed by Maurice Cohen. Viewed at the AFI Film Festival, LA

Are you really being who you want to be, or is it just the appearance you got when you were born. That’s just one of the questions Paul or should I say Kimberly Reed had. Prodigal Sons a great documentary. A brotherly rivalry between a men and a women and Orson Welles.

I saw this documentary at the Film Festival in Hollywood. I was amazed that while I was watching this film the main characters where sitting a row behind me. I could see there reactions in emotional scenes which kept me just more focussing on this big screen showing the life of this particularly family sitting behind me.

Prodigal sons is about the McKerrow family, which consist out of 3 siblings, Tod, Paul and Marc.
Marc was adopted because the McKerrow didn’t thought that they could have kids. Tod is the only gay in the family and Paul is a transgender woman, who changed her name into Kimberly Reed. In the first part of the documentary we get to know the McKerrow family and what they have been through. After several years without having Kimberly and Marc having contact, Kimberly decides to go to her high school reunion. This would be the first time her old class mates would get to see Kimberly instead of Paul. At the reunion she would get to see Marc again after a decennia. Marc had a severe car crash where he encountered a bad head injury. After having a blast at the reunion Kimberly decides to keep in touch with marc. This doesn’t go well all the time when they encounter some big fights between each other and marc and the rest of the family. It’s not entirely Marc’s fault because of his head injury. Then there’s the film takes a big turn. First we where focussing on Kimberly and her life, now we switch the Marc’s life. Marc wants to know ho his biological parents are. After some intense months we finally get to know them. Marc is the grandson of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. How does this change the lives of the characters? Find out and see!

Almost everything is filmed with a handheld camera which makes the whole film more intense than it would have been with a steady camera. The editing of the film was greatly done. They had hundreds of hours of footage but the film only took 86 minutes.

Not every family is perfect, we all know that. Prodigal sons is about a family that is far from perfect but perfect from far. It’s documentary with great integrity about the lives of the Mckerrows. A documentary worth spending 86 minutes to.

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