During Stalin's reign of terror, Evgenia Ginzburg, a literature professor, was sent to 10 years hard labor in a gulag in Siberia. Having lost everything, and no longer wishing to live, she meets the camp doctor and begins to come back to life.
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On a snowy winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry rushes his pregnant wife Norah to the hospital, where, with help from her husband and nurse Caroline Gill, she delivers their son Paul. However, Dr. Henry discovers that his wife was carrying twins, and helps her deliver the second child, a baby girl named Phoebe. Shortly after Phoebe's birth, he finds that she has Down Syndrome, and hands her over to Nurse Caroline, explaining that the death of his ill sister nearly destroyed their mother and he doesn't want Norah to go through that. Instead, he instructs Caroline to take Phoebe to a nearby institution for the mentally ill, figuring the child won't live much longer, and tells Norah that Phoebe was a stillborn. However, after visiting the institution and seeing the state of the other patients, Caroline takes the baby home with her, stopping along the way to buy formula and diapers. With help from a truck driver named Al, Caroline begins to raise the baby as her own, while Dr. Henry ... Written by
Memory Keeper's Daughter- My Down Syndrome's Child Keeper ***1/2
Dermot Mulroney and Emily Watson are appealing in this sad film.
It deals with a spur of the moment decision that has a lasting impact on the lives of several people throughout a 22 year period.
When his wife gives birth to twins, the boy is normal but the girl has Down's Syndrome. In a moment of misery, Mulroney tells his wife that the girl died in childbirth. He gives the baby to Nurse Watson with the instructions for her to bring the child to a home. When Watson sees the conditions in the home, she flees with the baby. Meeting a stranger in a snowstorm, she runs off to Pittsburgh with the baby and weds.
The film shows that the "Down Child" had a perfectly normal life whereas the boy along with Mulroney and his unfaithful wife, encounter nothing but misery along the way.
We should realize that it would take a death for everything to come out and this is exactly what occurs.
Watson is just wonderful as the compassionate, understanding nurse who gave so much of herself to the child.
This was a wonderful film and should not be missed.
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