The film 'Mamma', made by the Swedish theatre director Suzanne Osten, forms an interesting challenge to the autobiographical cinema. The subject of the film is a fragment of Gerd Osten's life, the mother of the director. So that the film appears to fall within the biographical film category rather than any other. However it is difficult to ignore the fact that Suzanne Osten made her first film about her own mother, which additionally highlights the intimate nature of the documentary. Gerd Osten was a respected film critic, and an unfulfilled film maker. The main theme of the movie is Gerd Osten's failed pursuit of self-expression through film, which at the same time adds the autobiographical and auto-thematic dimension to the work: the daughter fulfils her mother's dream, reconstructing in her film the portrait of her mother as a woman utterly concentrated on fulfilling this dream, but unable to do so. The relation between the daughter and mother presented in 'Mamma' is ambivalent. On the one hand the daughter admires her mother for her determination, her creative passion and ambition. On the other hand it is clear that this had negative and destructive consequences: an unhappy childhood for Gerd Osten's daughters and schizophrenia later on in Gerd Osten's life.
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