My Flesh and Blood

My Flesh and Blood

5.0 1
Director: Jonathan Karsh

Cast: Jonathan Karsh, Susan Tom

     
 

Susan Tom of Fairfield, CA, is not a typical single mother -- Tom is the head of a family of 11 adopted children, all of whom are physically challenged or living with long-term illnesses. Tom and her special family are the subject of My Flesh and Blood, a documentary which examines the dynamic of this household, as well as the often demanding physical andSee more details below

Overview

Susan Tom of Fairfield, CA, is not a typical single mother -- Tom is the head of a family of 11 adopted children, all of whom are physically challenged or living with long-term illnesses. Tom and her special family are the subject of My Flesh and Blood, a documentary which examines the dynamic of this household, as well as the often demanding physical and emotional needs of the 11 kids and the heavy emotional burden Tom must sometimes carry as she looks after children who may not survive to adulthood. Produced for the HBO premium cable network, My Flesh and Blood was screened in competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
A 21st-century update of the classic 1970s documentary Who Are the DeBolts?, this spare, sensitive film depicts an unemployed single mother struggling with not only her adopted children's physical handicaps, but also the psychological baggage of their troubled birth families. Director Jonathan Karsh directs his attention to most of Susan Tom's children at least once, but he wisely focuses on the magnetic Joe, a cystic fibrosis sufferer whose speed-addict birth mother had her first child at 13. Suffering from attention deficit disorder as well as cystic fibrosis, 15-year-old Joe spouts obscenities at his adoptive mother, becomes violent with his siblings, and, on one occasion, tries to seduce a mentally retarded sister. The boy's behavioral problems and his frequent trips to the hospital provide a through-line for Karsh's portrayal of an unconventional family that's more Roseanne than The Brady Bunch. Tom herself is a compelling interview subject -- conversant with the institution-speak of the social services agencies who provide her support, but also canny enough to question her own motives in continuing to adopt special-needs kids even after her marriage falls apart. Sad, life-affirming, and rarely manipulative, My Flesh and Blood earns every smile and tear.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/30/2004
UPC:
0767685961537
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
NR
Source:
New Video Group
Time:
1:23:00
Sales rank:
77,127

Special Features

Closed Caption; Filmmaker commentary; Deleted scenes; Additional interviews; Follow-up interviews; Behind-the-scenes; Theatrical trailer; Filmmaker biographies; Resources; Interactive menus; Scene selection

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Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Background [8:40]
2. Joe and Anthony [10:00]
3. Susan, Margaret and Faith [9:52]
4. Grandma's Visit [6:29]
5. Son of the Bride [5:11]
6. Tammy's Visit [5:12]
7. School [10:25]
8. Relieving Stress [10:53]
9. Chronic Illness [5:44]
10. Joe's Good-bye [6:49]
11. Anthony's Birthday [2:32]
12. End Credits [2:20]

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