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Prodigal Sons


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kimberly Reed, Marc McKerrow, Carol McKerrow, Todd McKerrow, Oja Kodar
  • Directors: Kimberly Reed
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: July 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00329PYHA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,307 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Superb documentary filmmaking... no one could make this believable if it were fiction. --David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Superb documentary filmmaking... no one could make this believable if it were fiction. --David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Superb documentary filmmaking... no one could make this believable if it were fiction. --David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Product Description

Returning home to a small town in Montana for her high school reunion, filmmaker Kimberly Reed hopes for reconciliation with her long-estranged adopted brother, Marc. But along the way she uncovers stunning revelations, including Marc's blood relationship with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, intense sibling rivalries and unforeseeable twists of plot and gender that forces them to face challenges no one could imagine.

Winner of Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival's FIPRESCI prize, Jury Award for Best Documentary at Newfest, and Special Jury Prizes for Bravery in Filmmaking at the Florida and Nashville Film Festivals, Prodigal Sons is a raw and provocative examination of one family's struggle to come to terms with its past and present.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
The best way to watch this film is without knowing much about it.
Pete Camacho
What I took away from this film is that even though you may leave your past to start your future, your future can't become complete until you have dealt with the past.
lean_bot
Also, Marc suffers from mental illness and the film includes many graphic scenes illustrating both Marc's problems and his family's attempts to help him.
stoic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By lean_bot on June 2, 2010
Format: DVD
It is a journey to me that went beyond gender identification. It was a story that had to deal with mental illness caused by an accident. It appears that the mom and Marc's wife had to deal with his mental illness crisis for 10 years. Doctors have been trying to find a combination of medications to help him.

One of the siblings return to attend a reunion only to learn that a new journey was about to begin. What I took away from this film is that even though you may leave your past to start your future, your future can't become complete until you have dealt with the past.

This documentary did leave me teary eyed in several scenes. It was a family who loved each other no matter what. They didn't give up on healing or finding a solution.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By stoic VINE VOICE on January 26, 2011
Format: DVD
I'm not sure if the McKerrow family is unhappy, but they are unique.

The McKerrows were the all-American, 1980s family - a physician father, teacher mother, and three sons living in the all-American city of Helena, Montana. Todd McKerrow was the star of the family - the blonde high school quarterback who seemed destined to follow the conventional path to success when he finished high school in 1985.

The family's story is much more complicated than that, however. At the beginning of the film, viewers see Todd returning for a high school reunion; only Todd has undergone gender reassignment and has become Kimberly Reed. Also attending the reunion is Kimberly's older brother, Marc.

The reunion is the film's focus at first, then, surprisingly, the focus shifts to Marc. Marc was adopted by the McKerrows and he longs to know more about his biological family. Once Marc starts searching for his family, the story has an incredible plot twist. Also, Marc suffers from mental illness and the film includes many graphic scenes illustrating both Marc's problems and his family's attempts to help him.

In simplest terms, Prodigal Sons is about a family struggling to be happy. The McKerrows are all decent people and it is easy for the viewer to cheer for them. Though the film is complex and offers no easy answers, it is always compelling due to its amazing storyline.

At the start, I had modest expectations for Prodigal Sons. There have been so many documentaries that explore gender and sexuality that I thought that the film might seem tired and unoriginal. Happily, I was wrong. Prodigal Sons is amazing - don't miss it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ray 72 on April 4, 2013
Format: DVD
Yes i bought the movie thought it would be more about kimberly reed but it's more about marc! But after watching the movie i came to see that what the doctors and kimberly dont see is that marc needed paul it's knot the loss of his mind. He just misses his bro. That he looked up to and wanted to be. Kimberly needed to let her bro know even now thats she kimberly she will alway be paul that the real thing that most transgender dont under stand! I know what it's like!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patinky on July 6, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what the point of this film is since all families have various conflicts and situations to overcome. Admittedly, transgender issues, homosexuality, and famous adoptions don't usually occur in the same family but I suspect even deeper issues were ignored. Much time was devoted to issues involving Kim and her brain-injured brother, Marc, but little was said about the first 20+ years of their lives before his brain injury. Since their relationship seems to be a central theme, it would have been nice to know more about her and Marc's early years together before his brain injury and before her transition. Maybe it's cultural for me, but exploiting family members who have brain damage is not appealing.

I also could have done without all the gum-chewing (what professional does this in public while being interviewed?) and the background noise (was the noise supposed to be mood music?). In the first part of the film where Kim revisits the high-school football field of her youth, the background "music" over-shadowed her monologue. It was distracting and gimmicky.

The film seemed superficial in that it did not go into depth on any of the interwoven themes: adopted children, sibling rivalry, trans-sexuality, homosexuality, dealing with traumatic brain injuries, and parental relationships. Most of this film seemed contrived and a bit phony in places. I can neither recommend it nor dismiss it thus the three-star rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Neva on March 29, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Every family unit should own this fine revealing film to understand the variety of folks that comprise a family unit really are!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cuchulain on June 13, 2011
Format: DVD
Wonderful story and at times is heartbreaking yet raw and true. I have a transgendered girlfriend and I never would have guessed the misery she endured and the hateful things people have done to her. She is the spirit of perseverance and acceptance and I value her so much. This film is about another such woman who is "BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT" and an inspirational storyteller..."A CAN'T MISS FILM" for sure!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Terry Knapp on September 15, 2010
Format: DVD
This documentary came to me totally out of left field. I was grazing through my streaming movie service and just happened upon it. It was a thorough and welcome surprise. What starts out as a sincere (if rather standard) coming out film soon reveals itself to be much more. Aside from the very real concerns of Kim Reed presenting herself to those who knew her in her previous life, the film documents a family dealing with the challenges and horrors that transpire when one member (adopted brother Mark) is exhibiting increasingly violent mental illness. On top of everything else, the capper to the film is the revelation of Mark's family history. This is a very human and humane film. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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