Review: For Sama

You needed to know.

Journalist Waad Al-Kateab chronicles her life in Aleppo, Syria from when she goes to university, falls in love, has a child, all while war rages on around her. This is a love letter to her daughter, Sama. Explaining why she had her and why she stayed.

I've been trying to make my way through the Oscar nominated documentary features. So far I've only seen this and American Factory. Unlike the latter, For Sama actually moved me enough to write about.  

There have been a few interesting documentaries about what's going on in Syria lately. The White Helmets and Last Men In Aleppo among them, but For Sama sets itself apart from having a very female voice, and one that is much needed.

The amount of footage Waad captured is amazing and her pleas for her young daughter to understand her decisions are raw and heartfelt. Since she speaks in past tense, I was so worried all of the people she was featuring would pass. Some do, some don't. There are some deeply uncomfortable things she shows us. Many dead bodies including children. There's a scene where they revive a young child that was going on for so long I found it torturous until he finally took that breath.

This is streaming on Amazon Prime right now if you have it and it's definitely worth the watch.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "I know you understand what's going on, Sama" - Waad Al-Kateab


  1. OK, I just added this to my watchlist as I do hope to see this as this sounds like something intense yet personal.

  2. I've been wanting to see this for a while now but I know it's going to be a tough watch. It was so sweet to see Waad Al-Kateab with her family at the BAFTAs!


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