Release October 6, 2004 (Limited)
Cast Jonathan Caouette, Michael Cox, Adolph Davis, Rosemary Davis, Renee Leblanc, David Sanin Paz
Director Jonathan Caouette
Writer Jonathan Caouette
Genres Documentary
Studio Wellspring Media
Length 88 mins.
Website www.i-saw-tarnation.com


Tarnation is as fiercely personal a self-portrait as can be recalled. Having documented his life since the age of eleven, Jonathan Caouette weaves a psychedelic whirlwind of snapshots, Super-8 movies, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of '80s pop culture, and dramatic reenactments to create an epic portrait of an American family torn apart by dysfunction and reunited through the power of love.

The film begins with 31-year-old Caouette learning of his mother's lithium overdose and his trip home to aid in her recovery. Slipping back into the archives of his youth, we watch Caouette grow up on camera, seeking escape from family trauma through musical theater, grade-B horror flicks and the forging of his identity through popular culture.

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