I am Sam
Autorstwa Aga Szmaja - Nosan
“I am Sam” is an extraordinary film about the power of family ties, which awakens within the viewer an internal discussion about the essence of the relationship between a child and a parent. A story of beautiful fatherly love, which squeezes quiet, unforced tears from even the toughest action movie lover.
The title character, Sam Dawson (the brilliant Sean Penn), is intellectually retarded and exhibits autistic behaviour. He works in a Starbucks café and is independent despite his illness. He arouses great sympathy among the customers and us, the audience, with his kindness, sincerity and extraordinary care.
From the very first scenes of the film, the themes of the film become clear as Sam becomes a father left with a newborn baby in front of the hospital building where the baby was born. He finds himself in an extremely difficult situation, having no idea how to care for the baby, he takes on the challenge despite having the maturity of a 7-year-old boy. With the help of his friends and The Beatles songs, he manages to raise a smart, responsible and empathetic little girl – Lucy Diamond (little Dakota Fanning).
The Dawsons’ lives are disrupted on her birthday when Social Services, based on the observations of Lucy’s school teachers, places her in foster care, claiming that her father is an unsuitable guardian for the girl due to his limitations. This begins Sam’s long and unequal battle for Lucy’s custody, aided by one of the city’s top attorneys, Rita Harrison Williams (Michelle Pfeiffer), a woman who knows no failure in her professional life but struggles in her private life.
Jessie Nelson’s film, I am Sam, is a melodrama full of humorous solutions. You watch it with bated breath, fighting to the end for Lucy, as well as your own position in judging Sam’s ability to care for his daughter.
One can have reservations about the film, if only because of modern realities that I imagine would make it impossible for someone like Sam to raise a child of 7 years old. On the other hand, the arguments in the film touch on the essence of family relations, which are the basis for the childhood period that bears fruit in the later years of everyone’s life. Emotions and elements that realistically build a family are strongly emphasised. Do many of us equate parenthood with the multiplication table or the analysis of literature? Parents show us what care and devotion are, and above all they are the role models that we, as children, emulate. Sam reveals to us, in the simplest terms, the pillars of good parenting and of a happy childhood: “It’s about constancy, patience, listening, and pretending to listen when you can’t listen anymore. And it’s about love”.