Skip to main content

1 hr. 27 min.

Plot Summary
Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette examines his family history in this inventive low-budget documentary. Collecting decades' worth of home movies and videotapes, answering machine messages and family snapshots, the film documents both the mental illness of his mother, Renee, and Caouette's own early recognition of his homosexuality. The pair's survival in an atmosphere of pervasive abuse, addiction and abandonment is balanced by Caouette's stable adult relationship with his caring boyfriend.


Director: Jonathan Caouette

Genres: Documentary

Distributor: Wellspring Media

Tarnation (2003)

Release Date: October 19th, 2003|1 hr. 27 min.

critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 88
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    The result is a film that defies description. I'd call it some kind of miracle. show more

  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle

    An impassioned documentary about a damaged American family, includes moments that seem to cross the line of what is emotionally acceptable to show onscreen. show more

  • 75
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Caouette's fractured history is imbued with heart-crushing sincerity. show more

How do you watch stuff?


How else do you watch?

Select your online providers
My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts


You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.

    Update settings