Prodigal Sons | Chicago Reader

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2010

Documentary
When Tolstoy wrote that line about every unhappy family being unhappy in its own way, he probably couldn't have imagined a family as peculiarly unhappy as the one in this 2008 documentary. Video maker Kimberly Reed returns to her hometown of Helena, Montana, to attend her high school reunion and document her old friends' reactions when they learn that she's abandoned her identity as football captain Paul McKerrow to become a transgender woman. The project takes an unexpected left turn, however, when her adopted younger brother, Marc, discovers that his birth mother was Rebecca Welles, the only child of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. (A third brother, Todd, is merely gay.) Afflicted by a brain injury, Marc eventually becomes verbally abusive and physically violent, and Reed's documentary develops into a painful and compelling story of three people grappling with the most profound questions of selfhood. 86 min.
Official Site: www.prodigalsonsfilm.com
Director: Kimberly Reed

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