From here to fraternity
Prodigal Sons, fractured-family documentary, not rated, CCA Cinematheque, 4 chiles
IWhen Paul McKerrow was going to high school in Helena, Montana, he was the star of the football team, the class president, the towheaded apple of his parents’ eyes, and, according to a page in his senior yearbook, quite a hit with the ladies. Paul’s popularity, however, did not rub off on his adopted brother, Marc, who struggled in his classes, loved to drink, drove recklessly, and wound up not graduating from high school. When Marc was 21, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that triggered a seizure disorder and behavioral problems that worsened after a portion of his brain was removed. Paul, on the other hand, was class valedictorian. Unfortunately, though, Paul was also trapped in the wrong body.
After moving to San Francisco for gender-reassignment surgery following high school, Paul — now a lesbian named Kimberly Reed — became a filmmaker. Her goal in making Prodigal Sons, which has garnered a number of film-festival jury prizes and other accolades, was to trace her brother’s path from living in Paul’s shadow during childhood to coping with his physical and emotional struggles and accepting his transgendered sibling in the present day. As Reed puts it, “Marc always wanted to be the man I didn’t want to be.”