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      My Flesh and Blood

      Released Jan 17, 2003 1 hr. 25 min. Documentary List
      90% 29 Reviews Tomatometer 93% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Susan Tom has a very special family. For over a decade, she's raised 11 adopted children, all of whom have some sort of mental or physical disability. A former nurse who endured heartbreak of her own, Susan has devoted her entire life to caring for and providing for her children. Among them are Joe, a moody teenager with cystic fibrosis, and Anthony, who was born with a rare and painful skin disease. Through birthdays, doctor visits and family feuds, Susan is the family's rock. Read More Read Less

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      My Flesh and Blood

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      My Flesh and Blood

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      Critics Consensus

      Disturbing and heart-wrenching documentary about a 53-years-old woman raising 11 children.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Yeah, a sense of triumph, but it hurt to watch. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member Inspired me to go into the field of nursing. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member A great documentary. I wish I could be 1/4 of the woman she is. We need more woman like her! I saw this documentary ages ago....just saw a post on Facebook that reminded me of this. Love you Susan! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review bill k This is one of the best documentaries we've ever seen. Touching, compelling, beautiful. Don't fail to watch the "extras". This is a film well worth watching...it will make your "troubles 'd jour'" seem trivial by comparison. But this is not a downer...the incredible mom, Susan, says, "every child has a special need" and that seemed to be her credo,whether or not any one of her 11 children were disabled. She is a incredible as are her children. Marvelous. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 06/09/12 Full Review Audience Member This documentary features a family composed of one adopting mother and eleven disabled children. It's almost impossible to write a review about this film. I can say for certain only that it was well-made, able to intimately capture its subjects' lives. Beyond that, there isn't much I can write without caveat. When the film first introduces us to Susan Tom -- during the first fifteen minutes -- we have already seen one of her children threaten to kill one or more of the rest. Additionally, we've met Faith, who has been burned to the point that she has no capability to grow hair, her skin looking like it's pasted-on putty, and Anthony, who has open sores across his face and body. Xenia, who has no legs, looks like she has it easy in comparison. My first thought about Susan Tom was one of condemnation. It seemed to me that she was mixing dangerous brew because the work that must go in to caring for all of these children with all of their ailments must mean that some needs get ignored. I thought that Susan Tom's behavior was motivated by a deep need to feel loved and admired, and such behavior ultimately worked to the detriment of the people she tries to help. As I continued watching the film, I saw this play out in Susan's relationship with Margaret, her biological daughter and the person, who, for me, becomes the most sympathetic "character' in the film. Margaret has some heart-wrenching moments when she begs her occupied mother for attention and approval but is ultimately told to "wait until tomorrow morning." But this is a person's real life that I'm writing about, so I feel uncomfortable attempting to be objective or judgmental about it, and I don't think I would be able to say what I just wrote to Tom's face. Why? Because she's caring for people whom society treats with little but pity. Though she falters at times, most of the time she accomplishes a daunting task. Overall, though my first reaction is to find Susan Tom's actions reprehensible even as the film attempts to convince me to celebrate her, I can't say that my first reaction held true throughout the remainder of the film. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member A fantastic documentary about a woman raising 11 children with special needs. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Critics Reviews

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      Michael O'Sullivan Washington Post Poignant, heartbreaking proof that, sometimes, love is just not enough. Feb 20, 2004 Full Review Ann Hornaday Washington Post For an agonizing and ultimately transcendent cinematic portrait of sacrifice, love and saving grace, audiences need look no further than this unpretentious and deeply moving film. Feb 20, 2004 Full Review Peter Debruge Premiere Magazine Full of life, the characters openly share moments of startling intimacy, hardship, and triumph. Rated: 4/4 Dec 9, 2003 Full Review Film Threat Rated: 4/5 Dec 6, 2005 Full Review Christopher Null Filmcritic.com Next time your boss is being a jerk, take a look at My Flesh and Blood. Rated: 3.5/5 Nov 21, 2004 Full Review Jean Lowerison San Diego Metropolitan Serves as a moving reminder that there are people out there who walk the walk and serve as examples of the humanity we all should be exhibiting in our own lives. Jan 31, 2004 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Susan Tom has a very special family. For over a decade, she's raised 11 adopted children, all of whom have some sort of mental or physical disability. A former nurse who endured heartbreak of her own, Susan has devoted her entire life to caring for and providing for her children. Among them are Joe, a moody teenager with cystic fibrosis, and Anthony, who was born with a rare and painful skin disease. Through birthdays, doctor visits and family feuds, Susan is the family's rock.
      Director
      Jonathan Karsh
      Distributor
      Strand Releasing
      Production Co
      Cinemax
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jan 17, 2003, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 23, 2017
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