Skip to main content
Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Directed by Jonathan Caouette • 2003 • United States
Starring Renee Leblanc, Jonathan Caouette
A pioneering, ahead-of-its-time work in the development of the autobiographical documentary, Jonathan Caouette’s cathartic film diary swirls together Super 8 and VHS home movies, answering machine messages, family photographs, and other records of a lifetime. It tells the story of Caouette’s tumultuous childhood, his coming out as gay, and his complex relationship with his schizophrenic mother, a former beauty queen whose life was derailed by the electroshock treatments she received in her youth. Famously made for just $218 and edited using free iMovie software, TARNATION went on to become a critical sensation that redefined the boundaries of personal filmmaking.