Rent For Sama (2019)

4.2 of 5 from 172 ratings
1h 35min
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"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.
Waad Al-Khateab, Hamza Al-Khateab, Sama Al-Khateab
Waad Al-Khateab, Edward Watts
Waad al-Kateab
Edward Watts, Waad al-Kateab
Channel 4
Documentary, Special Interest

2020 BAFTA Best Documentary

Release Date:
Run Time:
95 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.22:1

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Reviews (7) of For Sama

Extraordinary window into the horrors of civil war - For Sama review by TE

Spoiler Alert

The first review on here, by "PV" is simply ignorant.

At no point in 'For Sama' is there any endorsement of Islamic fundamentalism in general or of ISIL in particular. We see the beginnings of the opposition to the Assad regime during the Arab Spring. ISIL did not hi-jack the freedom movement in Aleppo: they were present as one of many anti-Assad groups but chose to leave early on in order to help set up their disastrous caliphate.

It's a shame that such an excellent documentary should be the subject of such an ignorant attack by PV.

This is above all else a timeless document of humane values fighting to survive in the most extreme conditions of inhumanity. It puts the focus where it should be, on the children irreparably damaged by war and sectarian violence.

The honest self-questioning by Waad al-Kateab gives the film an ongoing resonance.

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

A powerful film that will linger in your memory - For Sama review by DA

Spoiler Alert

A passionate, powerful, heart-breaking documentary that doesn't pull its punches. It conveys in horrible detail the anguish faced by those who chose to stay behind in Aleppo and endure constant bombardment (cluster bombs, barrel bombs etc etc) from Assad's regime and his Russian allies. You constantly see helicopters lurking overhead, knowing they will be dropping some horrible explosive device onto the innocent men, women and children below (clearly no ground-air defence whatsoever) but not knowing onto whose apartment/hospital it will fall. You learn how the regime deliberately targeted hospitals to reduce morale and that the only reason for the survival of the second hospital created by the director's doctor husband was that it was makeshift and appeared on no map. You see the incredible courage of those who stayed behind - particularly of the director and her husband - and feel shame at the inaction of our government and others in responding to these atrocities. A film that you are unlikely ever to forget - and neither should you.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

For Sama - For Sama review by CB

Spoiler Alert

Be warned this is hard to watch in some parts, with bombs exploding and both the dead and dying in plain view, including children, so not for the faint hearted.

The complex politics is only touched on in passing, but it will give you insight into the Syrian conflict and how it played out for those actually there.

And help you see where the refugees came from, and why they had to flee.

It deserved all the awards it got.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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