Date TimeSeptember 12, 2019
VoiceA student documenting the siege of Aleppo kept filming when she became pregnant. The result is a profoundly moving study of horror and hope
For Sama review – searing story of a Syrian warzone baby
Unconstrained by notions of balance, non-fiction cinema has done a more complete job of describing the devastation wrought by the Syrian conflict than swathes of the broadcast and print media. Sean McAllister’s A Syrian Love Story plotted the ups and downs of a couple forced into European exile; Matthew Heineman’s City of Ghosts starkly laid out the agonies of citizen journalists trying to break the story internationally.
Those films achieved their power through an awareness of distance, whether between director and subject or subject and homeland. Framed as a mother’s letter to her young daughter and opening with footage of an airstrike as experienced from inside the target zone, the exceptional For Sama drops us into the thick of things from the start.

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