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Blinded by the Light
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Inspired me to go into the field of nursing.
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!
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.
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.
A fantastic documentary about a woman raising 11 children with special needs.
At times really hard to watch, but one of the most beautiful documentaries I have seen in a while.
I saw this movie on 6-19-11. I don't understand why everyone is commending Susan Tom for adopting 11 children. She did it because she was lonely (as said by her mother). Yes, having these kids in a permanent home and out of foster care or orphanages is definitely a better option, but has no control of the home. When they show Margaret and she says she HAS to take care of her siblings because her mother wants to go out (she says that), and when she was trying to talk to her mom about how she feels, all Susan would do is interrupt and ignore her and tell her that they would talk in the morning, I felt sad for Margaret. The Tom's family is further disrupted by Joe, and lack of parenting. (I have a 7 year old bipolar-schizophrenic-ODD-CCD-ADHD son.And a 6 year old daughter. I am a strong advocate of Positive Discipline.) I saw no discipline at all. She allows super violent games in the home and Joe terrorizes the other children to the point where her daughter believes she is relieved when he dies.
I do applaud the children. Their view of life is amazing. The movie itself was done beautifully. But I will not give undeserved kudos to Susan.
I could very easily become this person...
tears, smiles, tears, and utter disbelief at the capacity of this woman's heart and the amazing children she holds within it.
I am way behind on my documentaries, this is from 2002. I stayed up way too late watching it last night and I cried and cried. So good! Now I see on the web that this family was on Extreme Makeover Home Edition in 2005; better find that episode and cry some more!