The movie I would have to relate to would be ‘I Remember Mama’. This is the story of a Norwegian immigrant family in San Francisco around 1910 and how the mother budgets the families money, counting pennies so she does not have to go to the bank.
This is a movie that I have probably seen at least a dozen times, back when I still owned a VCR. I often made mental comparisons to my own family from this film. Although we are not Norwegian, both of my grandmothers were immigrants and both sides of the family had to assimilate into American society. Both grandmothers refused to teach their children their native Slovak language, insisting that the children become ‘American’. (The photo below is my father with his maternal grandparents. They brought their family to America at the beginning of the Twentieth Century from what is today the Slovak Republic, a little before the time set in this film.)
The movie and the comparisons have been something I have reflected on often when dealing with clients that are not Americans by birth. I think it gives me a certain appreciation of what immigrants to through, adapting to the American way of life. It also provides me with an ability to empathize with foreign born clients who have difficulty in understanding the processes that take place in our country and how it is different from their native country.
I think we often take things for granted and a film like this makes us remember that who we are and how we experience the world around us depends on our own past experiences. MY reality is not YOUR reality. This knowledge can make us better at what we do on a daily basis………..assist others.