Thursday, November 3, 2011

Your mom is who?

I'm not sure why, but lately I've been trying to find documentaries about families. Families dealing with the past, possible reconciliations, small town guilt, individuality, etc. So I remembered Prodigal Sons.

I'm not sure if this life could have been written. This small town family from Montana was, well, not your stereotypical small town family. I guess in some ways, as young children, they embodied that stereotype. They had a loving father, creative sibling relationships, active in their small high school, etc. For the most part, a close knit and emotionally expressive family on the outside, but those factors were a reflection of youth and memorable photos. They became adults and..please see this. It's surprising and really well done, I loved it. It starts off a little slow but unravels in ways that initially make you wonder if it's a well crafted drama. It's not.

So this one might be a little difficult to see, but I feel compelled to watch it. The local independent video store doesn't have it yet(though it was released in 2007). It's the story of Allis and Charley. They were separated for several years because of work so they kept in touch via audio tapes and letters(all which Allis saved). These aren't love letters. They aren't even remotely pleasant, but it's their life. After the wife's death, she leaves this personal history behind, sealed with a message: Must Read After My Death. Her grandson unlocks this troubling world explaining a great deal about Allis, her children and who they have become as adults. It's not a new story, it's been told before: Artifacts and remnants of a horrible marriage discovered years later. But no matter how many times It's told, each story IS a different family with different outcomes and tragedies. To me, that's a timeless tale. I hope I find this soon.

Happy hibernating.

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