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

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

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.