My Flesh and Blood

"Very Good"

My Flesh and Blood Review


Next time your boss is being a jerk, take a look at My Flesh and Blood.

This documentary follows the life and times of Susan Tom, a self-described "fat, interesting" woman in Fairfield, California, who's made it her life's work to adopt (legally or informally) various children with special needs.

And we're not talking about a little hyperactivity -- we're talking kids with mental retardation, cystic fybrosis, and skin-wasting diseases that cause their bodies to slowly disintegrate.

And we're not talking about two or three kids. Tom has thirteen of these kids running around her house.

How does she cope with the madness this creates -- and believe me, director Jonathan Karsh captures the madness in all its horrors -- on a daily basis? Karsh doesn't really get into it -- he's more focused on documenting life in the Tom family. We visit the hospital (regularly), but spend most of our time in Tom's sprawling suburban home, which is filled to the rafters with screaming and bickering... and some of truly horrifying shots of these kids' medical conditions. I'm a borderline hypochondriac as it is; My Flesh and Blood had my mind reeling with the possibilities of some awful diseases I didn't even know existed.

Ultimately, though, Karsh focuses on the relationship between Susan and Joe, a young boy with CF who's also got some kind of mental problem that makes him belligerent to the point of abuse. He screams at Susan, calling her a slut. She simply takes it and turns the other cheek. How can a human being cope with such a savage attack, then sit by his bedside during a CF episode? It's simple: Susan is a saint.

Karsh knows this, of course, and Tom is never portrayed as anything but a latter-day Mother Teresa. This ultimately makes for a less interesting film than it ought to be; there's something here, but Karsh never quites get to the real core of the story, because he never ferrets out just what makes Susan Tom tick. I, for one, am dying to know.



My Flesh and Blood

Facts and Figures

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th January 2003

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 8.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jonathan Karsh

Starring: as Herself, as Himself, as Herself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.