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