For Sama

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Framed as a love letter from a young mother to her newborn daughter, FOR SAMA is a personal, epic journey into a woman’s experience of war. It tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life, love, family and work through five years of violent uprising in Syria.  As a journalist who has been active in the struggle against ISIS in Aleppo, al-Kateab is faced with the heart-wrenching choice of leaving the city to protect her baby or staying to continue to fight for freedom. The documentary matter-of-factly presents the toll that the harsh realities and chaos of war take on the day-to-day lives of ordinary men, women and children. Intense sequences vividly capture the determination and heartbreak of resistance fighters and medical professionals, including al-Kateab’s husband, Hamza.  Brave and bold storytelling choices and first hand access make this a war doc like you’ve never seen before, up close and through a female lens. FOR SAMA has been recognized with numerous awards, including the L’Oeil D’Or for Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. 

Screening in the series Oscars Spotlight: Documentaries 2020.



  • Country Syria
  • Language Arabic with English subtitles
  • Running Time 100 minutes
  • Director Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
  • Writer Waad al-Kateab
  • Producer Waad al-Kateab
  • Editor Chloe Lambourne, Simon McMahon
  • Cinematographer Waad al-Kateab
  • Accessibility Assistive Listening, T-Coil

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.