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FOR SAMA DVD Review

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FOR SAMA DVD. Channel 4

FOR SAMA was awarded the Prix L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It also won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the SXSW Film Festival, and the Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary at the Hot Docs Festival.

FOR SAMA

FOR SAMA  is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.

Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice– whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.

The film is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

FOR SAMA - PRODUCED BY CHANNEL 4 NEWS/ITN PRODUCTIONS FOR CHANNEL 4 AND FRONTLINE PBS.

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AWARDS WON

Best Documentary Feature, Social Impact Award, Special Jury Prize, Audience Award, Prix L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary, Special Jury Prize, Audience Award, Special Mention, Audience Award, Documentary Feature Audience Award, Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award, Audience Award, Grand Jury Award, Best Documentary, World Cinema Documentary, Award, Best Cinematography, Best Film Unipol Award, Audience Award, Grand Prize, Best Documentary & Human Rights Award, Best European Documentary 2019, Audience Choice Award, International Documentary, Best Film, Best Human Rights Feature Award, Best International Feature Documentary, Hitchcock Heartbeat.

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WATCH THE FILM

You can watch For Sama here:

In the UK:

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/for-sama

In the US:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/for-sama/

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Review

After having watched this documentary on Channel 4 TV, I decided to acquire a copy of the DVD as I thought it was too important not to.  I checked with Amazon to see if other purchasers shared my view and those of all the film critics that saw it. I was surprised, and a little shocked, to find only one customer review. I was also disapppointed that many who live in safe, secure and comfortable circumstances probably have not seen this brave and moving film.

In truth, I felt it was my duty to buy this DVD if nothing else to encourage others to document the terrible truth about parts of the world that we don’t hear about or where the media interest has wained. The suffering  nevertheless persists and increases, especially with Putin’s aggressive illegality (that still goes unpunished) and the threat of Corvid-19. The people of Yemen are also suffering and in every case it is the women and children who suffer most. Imagine how mothers feel as they watch their children suffering, powerless to help…

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FOR SAMA is the work of a beautiful young Syrian woman who decided that she would document the horrors of the civil war in her home city of Aleppo. With minimal equipment; an ordinary consumer digital camera; and on discovering she was pregnant with her first child, she decided to progress her recordings of what was happening to the place and people so that her daughter would understand how her beautiful city and home was destroyed, and by whom.

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Much of the infrastructure damage and human carnage was carried out by Syrian Republican troops and helicopters, but with the Russian air force carrying out the vast majority of damage. It is beyond me that Putin has been allowed, yes, allowed, to carry out these atrocities as can be plainly seen in the DVD’s footage. War crime after war crime has been committed with impunity. Children killed and injured, hospitals bombed and domestic dwellings decimated, and twelve million innocent Syrians now stateless, existing in an ocean sea of tents they call a refugee camp. Many have travelled thousands of miles to European countries to secure their family’s safety and security, and are met with hostility and abuse.

This film tells the whole story in very graphic detail. One of the most moving segments was filmed in a basement hospital where a very young brother was being treated following a Russian bombing, while his two older brothers wait outside a tattered curtain that separates them from the horror on the other side. The young victim dies and his surviving brothers are then allowed to see him … it’s a heartbreaking scene. But then the mother arrives and takes the boy’s body away wrapped ready for burial. We all need to witness this horror and sorrow. All of us.

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Considering the filming environment and obvious difficulties, Waad al-Kateab’s film is highly professional and a genuine achievement. Few previous documentaries will have had this level of visual impact. It is a masterpiece of documentary-making which truly deserves all the accolades it has been awarded. It is essential.

5/5

https://www.forsamafilm.com/
https://www.facebook.com/forsamafilm
https://www.facebook.com/forsamafilm/videos/611264979478569/
http://hyperurl.co/forsama
https://www.forsamafilm.com/
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=For+Sama&docid=608054991088387937&mid=CE04AC8CDEA95E16F72ECE04AC8CDEA95E16F72E&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

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