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Twists and Shouts: Kimberly Reed’s “Prodigal Sons”

Twists and Shouts: Kimberly Reed's "Prodigal Sons"

In the first twenty or so minutes of Kimberly Reed’s marvelous documentary Prodigal Sons, the film’s director, who is also one of its main subjects, returns to her small Montana hometown to attend a high-school reunion. En route, she is reunited with her adopted older brother, Marc, with whom she casually mentions she has been estranged for over a decade. Soon, the first bombshell, uttered by Marc from the backseat of a car: his sister Kim, our narrator, used to be his brother, Paul. A third child, Todd, will waft in and out of conversation and the movie itself. Shot in perfunctory home video style with the occasional Big Sky Country visual interlude, these early scenes would seem to establish the film in predictable personal-diary doc territory—and though the structure and aesthetics of the film will not necessarily come to refute this impression, Prodigal Sons turns out to be so much more. Read Michael Koresky’s review of Prodigal Sons.

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