Prodigal Sons (2008/2010)

Prodigal Sons

Carol McKerrow, Marc McKerrow and Kimberly Reed as seen in PRODIGAL SONS, a film by Kimberly Reed. A First Run Features release.

Opened: 02/26/2010 Limited

Cinema Village...02/26/2010 - 03/18/201021 days
Sunset 5/LA03/19/2010 - 03/25/20107 days

Trailer: Click here to view at Apple Trailers

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated

Official Synopsis

Marc has had a rough life. Adopted as an infant, he was held back in preschool (putting him in the same grade as his younger brother), failed to graduate high school, and suffered a head injury at twenty-one. His entire worldview was that he was cheated by life. Then he discovered he is the grandson of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth.

Unlike Marc, his sister Kim's life always seemed to be easy. She was the first child born to her attractive parents, into an extended family of tall Montana farmers. She was high school class president and valedictorian, voted most likely to succeed. She was also captain of the football team -- you see, Kim used to be Marc's younger brother. Having these two siblings in the same grade in a small Montana town made for a perfect storm of brotherly rivalry.

Twenty years later Marc and Kim return home to their small Montana hometown, a springboard that hurtles Prodigal Sons into a year in the life of this Montana family, forcing them to face challenges no one could imagine. Seen through the eyes of Kim, the filmmaker, she is the most surprised of all as she discovers her brother Marc is still trapped in the brotherly rivalry she long ago abandoned. She sets out to unravel this complex history, and learns it is she who needs to resolve bygone days by confronting the ghost of her male past. Her rare access delicately reveals both family's most private moments and an epic vista, as the film travels from Montana to Croatia, from high school reunion to jail cell, and from deaths and births to commitments of all kinds.

Marc and Kim's relationship is an ideal polarizing test case for the universal issues every family confronts: sibling rivalry, gender, nature versus nurture, and the question of whether anyone can reinvent oneself. Their bond, which defies both Kim's gender and Marc's pedigree, exists as the fascinating heart of the film, and is orbited by a colorful, articulate cast of characters, including jailhouse chaplains, Montana farmers, intrigued high school classmates, and Orson Welles' soul-mate Oja Kodar, among others. Carol, the remarkably resilient mother who accepts her children's surprises with grace and optimism, provides a strong backbone for the family, as well as a clear-eyed entry-point to this drama of Wellesian proportions. All along the way surprising revelations abound: Marc's innate savant ability to play the piano, Kim's smooth acceptance from schoolmates and community, and their younger brother Todd's well-adjusted attitude about being gay.

In the end, we see that transformation happens when least expected. After pulling for this family through its trials and tribulations, we learn that a poignant sense of hope will carry them through.