Prodigal Sons

Wednesday, June 17, 2009- 7:30 PM Vancouver Premiere!
USA 2008. Director: Kimberly Reed

A fascinating study of family dynamics, Prodigal Sons traces the history and disparate trajectories of three brothers who grew up in Helena, Montana, in the 1970s. Marc, the oldest, was adopted; his new parents, the McKerrows, thought they weren’t able to have biological children, and then quickly proceeded to have two: Paul and Todd. Paul, the middle child, was a golden boy: excellent student, captain of the football team, class valedictorian. Marc, held back in kindergarten and always under the shadow of his younger brother, had a harder time. He dropped out of school, was in prison at 19, and at 21 suffered a serious brain injury; given to emotional instability, he seems never to have gotten over his resentment towards Paul. But Paul had his own demons to contend with: After graduation, he moved to San Francisco and became a woman, transitioning into Kimberly Reed, director of this documentary. Prodigal Sons opens as Kimberly travels home to Helena for a high school reunion — her first time back as a woman, and her first visit in years with Marc.  Add to the mix the recent discovery that Marc’s biological grandparents are Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. And that a family Christmas with youngest brother Todd, a gay man now working as an architect, ends with a 911 call to police… “Compelling…Tennessee Williams looks like Sesame Street compared to this.” (Todd McCarthy, Variety). Colour, Digibeta video, 86 mins.

Post-Screening discussion with Dr. Anton Scamvougeras, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Scamvougeras works with individuals with neurological illnesses that cause emotional, cognitive and behavioural challenges, as well as assisting families with the complicated dynamics that can arise when such illnesses occur. 

Moderated by Caroline Coutts, the film programmer for Frames of Mind since its inception in September, 2002.

Prodigal Sons is “one of ‘Five Undistributed Gems’ of 2008” IndieWire | full review

“There’s a lot of America that would benefit from realizing how much this family resembles their own.” Ain’t It Cool News | full review