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My Flesh and Blood

  NR Closed Captioning

Jonathan Karsh

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About the Movie

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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 30
  • Fresh: 27
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 7.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: An unforgettable experience. – Stephen Holden, New York Times, Jul 16, 2008

Fresh: The effect on her children of Susan Tom's call to serve and cherish is enthralling to behold, and My Flesh and Blood deeply honors her and her family. – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: In turns heart-wrenching and eye-opening, this documentary is one of the year's best. – Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Single motherhood has seldom looked as daunting and enervating as it does in this unsentimental documentary. – David Ng, Village Voice, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

"My Flesh & Blood" is Fabulous!!

I saw this movie at the Clay Theater in San Francisco. Susan Tom spoke afterwards. What came out strongly was that the children and young adults featured in this film do not feel like their lives are unvaluable. They live their lives with what they've been given and feel like they lead normal lives with a few challenging situations. Jonathan Karch directs this movie with a touching spirit without missing the hard times. I highly recommend it!


Very few movies or documentaries have been so profound and touching as this. It is truly a moving experience. You will be overcome by emotion feeling unsure of whether to cry or simply marvel at the strength of this incredible women and even more so, marvel at the unequalled spirit and will to live life exhibited by all of the children in this movie. This film is not something to pass up, it is both heart wrenching and inspirational; and overall it is a profoundly emotional film.

One of the most moving documentaries I have seen

I will admit, at times this film was disturbing only because it was so real. I was deeply affected by it for days and have thought about the family ever since I watched it a few months ago. I watched it several times. I wish there were more documentaries put there like this...I heave yet to find one that touched my soul like that. Wonderful film.

My Flesh and Blood
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  • $7.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2004

Customer Ratings