Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|My Flesh and Blood|
Actors: Susan Tom, Anthony Tom, Faith Tom, Joe Tom, Margaret Tom
Director: Jonathan Karsh
Genres: Kids & Family, Special Interests, Documentary
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 daily routines, celebrate... more »
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When is Love Giving and When Is It Taking?
M. JEFFREY MCMAHON | Torrance, CA USA | 07/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This compelling, heart-breaking documentary shows a lonely single mother who adopts more and more children with special needs and lives in a constant state of being overwhelmed. The film asks the question: At what point does giving become a need that reaches a point of no return. For example, the mother's biological daughter cries in anguish when she realizes her life is about helping her mother care for the adopted children while her own needs are left ignored. The film offers no easy answers. Nor does the film paint the mother in a simple light. She is a complex woman full of complex motivations for adopting more than a dozen children. The filmaker is sympathetic and offers no judgments. He simply allows us to struggle with making our own conclusions. The children are presented in a noncondescending light. They are loveable survivors. One twelve-year-old boy however is severely angry, largely in part because his biological mother abandoned him when his health problems became too difficult, and he shows that he is a danger to the other children. He talks freely about wanting to kill them. His anger combined with his need to be loved puts the mother and the rest of the family in their biggest dilemma and is a major focus of this excellent documentary about a family that out of their daily crises grow a profound love for each other."
Katarina Thorsen | Canada | 12/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am an avid documentary viewer and this is by far the MOST moving documentary I have ever seen. The filmmaker was given one year (no more, no less) to record the events of a most extraordinary family. Susan Tom is a single mother who takes care of her own biological and adopted children. Most of the children have a variety of special needs and Susan's strength, intelligence, humor, kindness, empathy, tenacity and flexibility allows her to give each child the attention and parenting they all need and deserve. The family is alarmingly honest and each person in the film moves through an epic struggle. We are so privileged to watch. The family loves, fights, support. Within the year's framework, the filmmaker catches heartbreaking and painful moments. There are also many joyous moments. The film stays with the viewer- dare I say- forever. I am a parent of a autistic son, and I have often felt alone in my struggle to make life the best it can be for him. The world can easily judge, can easily misunderstand. Without my advocacy I know my son would not be as secure and happy as he is today. In Susan Tom, I have found a personal hero- a woman who is beautiful and intelligent and a master at her job. Thank you to the whole Tom family (and to the filmmakers) for giving the world a glimpse. I wish you all the best. You touched us so deeply- Joe, Anthony etc.
PS. My daughter and I cried deeply- make sure to have kleenex handy when viewing. Film's official website:
The Best Yet
Christina Townsley | Oxford, OH United States | 12/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen a variety of documentaries and could not recommend anything better. I was drawn to this film as I am training to work with children with special needs. However, I witnessed an entire room captivated by this film. Not a dry eye in the place. The emotions evoked from this film are remarkable. It provides viewers the opportunity to experience life with the Tom family--and gain a new perspective of living life to the fullest. I promise this film will leave every viewer with something special."
Moving and definately hits home
Adam J. Byrne | Fairfield, CA...Cordelia Villiage | 07/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a resident of Fairfield, it's a small enough world that I actually ended up working with one of the Tom kids! The now adult Margaret is still extremely headstrong independent and amazing. She has a strong work ethic and a zest for life unlike some people I've seen in our town. The film only briefly shows her and at the same time, she is absolutely touching...her struggles with "not doing enough" and all must have been hell for her. I respected her before I viewed to picture and now even more I respect her for staying strong in such a huge family. Meeting all the kids is an amazing experience too! Their mom is very humble, and even at my comment of "I just have to say you are AWESOME" she quietly said Thanks, and i brought them their food. She really is remarkable...The family is remarkable, such honest special people.
The film is nicely shot in digital video. The family unit is shown and while dysfuntional is very much an all american family, with issues and hard times. It is a definite break from the normal "hollywood" family. You don't see everyone smiling and acting like lifes just a breeze. It's a beautiful emotional film with a heart and a great entertaining learned feel to it. It is even better if you meet these remarkable individuals. They really are beautiful people."