Essay on George Stevens' I Remember Mama

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George Stevens I Remember Mama


Beautifully realized, exquisitely detailed film directed by George Stevens I Remember Mama tells of a Norwegian family living in San Francisco during the beginning of this century. It is an old classical movie, based on Kathryn Forbes' novel titled Mama?s Bank Account. The film is rendered and it is a moving act of memory about how an immigrant family copes with poverty and how they try to overcome the odds of living in a foreign country. I could identify with almost every scene in the movie and not because of the era but because of the feelings it provoked. There was so much warmth, so much hope and yet it wasn't the "perfect" family, it was just people living life on life's terms.

"We don't want to go to
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Through this, they display an apparent love for each other.

In the beginning of the movie, while Martha is counting the day?s income together with her family on the usual round table, the eldest son, Nels announces his intention to further his studies. With barely enough money, she sacrifices her plan to buy the winter coat that she has been longing for so that Nels will be able to fulfill his dream to become a doctor. Despite the hardship they face, the family is always there for each other. Papa Janssen and Martha have always respect and encouraged the decision of their four children individuals? dreams. When later, the children found out that there was actually no such thing as Mama?s bank account they were astonished. This time Martha was feeling in despair, which was done, so as supposed to honor a dignity for their education, and to let the children felt secured with their presence, was later found out.

When Katrin asked why she wants to pretend to them that there was a bank account. ?It?s not good for little ones not to feel secured.? Martha?s reply. Papa Janssen and Martha apparently used to tell their children that they have a bank account and will be used during emergencies only. However the closest thing that comes to a bank account is the little tin box where Martha keeps the family?s treasure.

Despite the depression in their lives, they still manage to pull together by unity and strength within the family circle through courage and…