My Flesh and Blood

Released 2004


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Movie Summary

Jonathan Karsh
Winner of the Audience and Director's Awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the deeply affecting "My Flesh and Blood" follows one remarkable family's most tumultuous year as it confronts a litany of challenges, while still finding time to celebrate life's small pleasures. Who says you can't choose your family? "I think when I found that I could survive raising four kids, that it wasn't that far of a leap to add another one," says Susan Tom of Fairfield, California, who has done more than just that, adopting 11 special-needs children. For a single mother who receives only limited help from the state, Susan faces the seemingly impossible task of caring for her brood, somehow managing to give them love, hope, and as close to a normal childhood has possible. But limits are tested when her angry teenage son threatens to harm one of his siblings. And after another child's condition becomes erratic, Susan must struggle to keep her family united as their battles threatened to tear them apart. Tenderly directed by Jonathan Karsh, "My Flesh and Blood" presents a family portrait like no other--a bittersweet and unforgettable experience filled with unexpected humor, stirring pathos, and real-life inspiration.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    In what has been called the Year of the Documentary, "My Flesh and Blood" stands beside "Capturing the Friedmans" and "The Fog of War" as an unforgettable experience.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    The singular achievement of Jonathan Karsh's graceful and rigorous documentary is that he enables his audiences to see his heroine's family through her very clear but always loving...

  • 70

    Variety Joe Leydon

    One leaves My Flesh and Blood with admiration for the lenser's craftsmanship, and for her ability to remain an unobtrusive observer during moments of extreme emotional turmoil.

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