Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

PRODIGAL SONS – “We were both haunted by the same ghost!”

August 22, 2010 , , , , , , , , , ,

Prodigal sons is a personal documentary about Kimberly Reed, a transgendered and lesbian filmmaker. In the film, Kim reveals that the first part of her life, she tried to deny the fact that she was really a girl and tried hard to fit in and do everything a teenage boy would do. After she transitioned and underwent sex change, in her second part of her life, she tried to deny the fact that she ever had been a boy. The film is about her family making peace with their past and present.

Her family situation complicates the plot further. Her parents couldn’t have children and therefore adopted Marc, but miraculously they conceived and delivered Kim (who was Paul at that time) a year later. After that, they had another child – Todd. Growing up, Marc was always jealous of Kim. To make things worse, he had to repeat a class and was Kim’s (Paul) classmate for most of his school years and he hated being overshadowed by his over achieving younger brother. Paul(Kim) was terrified by his gender identity and wanted to fit in desperately and kept his gender struggles a secret. After graduating from high school, Paul left Helena, Montana and moved to University of California in Berkeley, where he transformed. Meanwhile, Marc met with an accident in his 20s and suffered brain injury that resulted in short term memory loss and terrible mood swings.

The film begins with Kim getting ready to go to her high school reunion after 20 years. She was going to Helena, a town she left as a boy.  Most importantly, she was to meet Marc after 20 years. The one thing Kim wanted desperately was to reconcile with Marc. Everybody else seems to accept her transition except Marc. His brain injury and mood swings does not make things easy. Marc also learn that he is the grandson of Orson Wells. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT! Kim thought that if Marc connected with his new identity then he might be able to accept her new reality.  The film has some very tense moments, with Marc’s out bursts and assaults. One can only feel sad for Marc’s situation. Brain injury can be very devastating. Despite himself, Marc’s obsession with Paul made Kim realize that she can’t just hide from her past identity. She can’t wipe the slate clean. Though Kim and Marc don’t reconcile in the classic way, Kim comes to terms with her past and reconnects with it.

This is a very complex film. For me, it was more about growing up, change, acceptance and feeling happy about our choices. But the really powerful thing about this film is that there’s so much other drama going on, that the transgender issue, which is usually enough to swamp any story, is kind of lost in the heap.

Kim is extremely brave as a filmmaker for filming under some extremely dangerous situations and also for putting her life and personal situation out in the public. I think personal films are the hardest to make. In Kim’s word’s “At its most basic level it is a good old family drama dealing with classic themes of sibling rivalry”. Kudos!

Advertisements

What do you think?

Please keep your comments polite and on-topic.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: