Prodigal Sons Screens in New York City
Winner of the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival's FIPRESCI prize, the Bravery in Storytelling award at the Nashville Film Festival and named the best documentary of last year by NewFest, Prodigal Sons opens today in New York City, and opens wide later this month.
Filmmaker Kimberly Reed’s unflinching documentary has won raves everywhere because it’s an astonishing look at family dysfunction. Watching Reed (a Montana-bred, New York magazine editor) head home for her high school reunion, took me back to my own reunion in Idaho. In those 20 years, I had come out as a lesbian; Reed came out as a lesbian, too—and as a woman. Reed was once Paul, high school quarterback, the popular Adonis of his class. Reed’s adopted older brother Marc, was overshadowed by Paul’s accomplishments and their reunion underscores how much Reed and her brother are still living in the shadow of the man she never wanted to be. The story is expertly interwoven, creating a sad, exhilarating, funny experience filled with easy gestures (home movies of younger brother dressed as a girl add a wonderful touch) and unexpected drama (Marc has fits of rage that land him in jail at one point). While the very sexy Reed dazzles her classmates, Marc fades into the background, but a search for his bio parents leads him to discover a shocking link to Hollywood royalty. The drama continues and never quite wraps up neatly. It’s easily the best documentary of last year (prodigalsonsfilm.com).