Hot Docs 2019 Review: FOR SAMA (UK/USA/Syria 2019)

For Sama Poster
A young woman’s struggles with love, war and motherhood over the span of five years in Syria.
The doc begins with the image of a baby and a picture of a an 18-year old girl, that is supposed to be taken 10 years prior to the making of the doc.  It turns out that the girl is Waad Al Kateab, the doc’s co-director and mother of the baby named Sama.  She is making the doc for her daughter Sama, detailing the experiences she and her husband went through in evacuating the city of Aleppo, Syria, where she grew up. 
 Over the course of several years, Waad al-Kateab has been filming the uprising in her home city of Aleppo, Syria.  Capturing the brutal conflict all around her comes with added personal stakes as she falls in love and becomes pregnant with her first child.  The film also attests the strength of women in war.  
At one point in the film, the women chant: “We are resilient!  We are strong.”  The film contains disturbing images of war.  After six months of the city under siege, the camera pans the destruction of rubble and dust ads the citizens of Aleppo prepare their evacuation. 
 FOR SAMA captures the danger and turmoil the citizens of Aleppo have gone through.