TELLURIDE, Colo. -- The documentary Prodigal Sons is the only new film I've seen here that the Telluride Film Festival deserves. There is so much I want to tell you about it, but there are two "secrets" revealed during the movie and you should experience the shock/delight yourself. Suffice to say it is a documentary about family and the search for (or flight from) one's self. Sounds very broad, yes, but the context in which this search is conducted is truly amazing. If you want to read all about the film, do so here. Knowing some background won't sabotage the film's effectiveness, but it's still nice to go into a movie without knowing where it's taking you. And this one takes you to some pretty remarkable places.
The Telluride experience magnified the film. The doc ended, I was exhilirated, and then the emcee pointed out that the entire featured family is sitting in the audience not two rows behind me. Having just seen their lives laid bare onscreen, it was a special privilege to see and thank them in person.
As far as I can tell, Prodigal Sons has no distribution. But given the exuberant reaction here, it will no doubt continue to play at festivals to packed houses. If you get a chance to see it, drop everything and make it happen. I wish there was a way they could stream the doc online for a small fee. Everyone should see this movie.
There are other things to talk about, but I haven't the time. The festival ends in a couple hours. I'll be posting later about Jean Simmons, Mary Pickford, Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command and Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (surely the fiction crowd-pleaser of the fest).
Also, I served popcorn to Greg Kinnear and Salman Rushdie. Also, I am tired.