My Flesh and Blood


Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17

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Critic Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. The experiences of this family from Fairfield will resonate with moviegoers around the country.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    With My Flesh and Blood, Karsh finds a worthy subject in the constant day-to-day challenges facing a truly extraordinary family.
  4. 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 eyes.
  5. Demanding but deeply affecting, My Flesh and Blood ultimately takes on a literal, highly visceral meaning that transcends notions of conventional family dynamics.
  6. 90
    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.
  7. Susan Tom has her hands full in Jonathan Karsh's documentary My Flesh and Blood -- she's dealing with her 13 children, most adopted, some with serious maladies. Rarely does one encounter such capable hands.
  8. 80
    If you view life as being full of rainbows and ponies, you'll see this film as a remarkable display of courage and hope. If you wake up to reality, though, you'll see this as a depressing exercise in futility.
  9. 80
    Mostly content to observe with wary admiration, the film doesn't offer any answers, and life robs the story of any sort of resolution, leaving only footage of one remarkable example of charity in action.
  10. Poignant, heartbreaking proof that, sometimes, love is just not enough.
  11. 75
    Be warned: Some of the afflictions are so disturbing, you might have to turn your eyes from the children. Susan Tom doesn't have that option. And 11 children are all the better for it.
  12. Reviewed by: 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.
  13. Reviewed by: David Ng
    Single motherhood has seldom looked as daunting and enervating as it does in this unsentimental documentary.
  14. 70
    Despite, or perhaps because of, the jollity that reigns in this household, one wants to ask the Mia Farrow question: Why does this woman keep surrounding herself with others who are completely reliant on her?
  15. 70
    Powerful and startlingly unsentimental.
  16. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    By turns chilling, mysterious and inspiring; sometimes it's all of those at once.
  17. You'd have to be a stone not to be affected by My Flesh and Blood, but the director, Jonathan Karsh, merges compassion with voyeurism until you can't tell the difference.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. NicholasP.
    Feb 1, 2006
    Your attitude toward what is possible for children with severe handicaps will be transformed.