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

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.