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

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

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.