The astonishing personal story of a young Syrian mother’s perseverance through the siege of Aleppo. Told as a love letter from a mother to her daughter, the film explores the agonizing dilemma of whether to abandon Aleppo and the fight for freedom.
FRONTLINE: For Sama Unfolding as a love letter from filmmaker and young mother Waad al-Kateab to her daughter, For Sama tells the story of Waad’s life through five years of the uprising in rebel-held Aleppo, Syria. Waad falls in love, gets married and gives birth to her daughter Sama--all while filming the cataclysmic conflict raging around them.
The documentary chronicles Sama’s first year of life: the last year of the battle for the city, and a time of almost unimaginable darkness. Hospitals are bombed, Aleppo is besieged by the Assad regime, and the remaining civilians witness attacks by chlorine gas, cluster and barrel bombs, and massacres of women and children.
Amid the horror, baby Sama gives Waad the strength to endure: fighting for her dream of a free Syria; filming, directing and producing For Sama; and offering a lens into the country’s war through her eyes.
For Sama captures haunting stories of loss and survival, juxtaposed with moments of laughter and joy between a mother and daughter. All the while, Waad wrestles with an impossible choice -- whether or not to flee Aleppo to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.
Producer: Waad al-Kateab, Dan Edge
Executive Producer: Raney Aronson-Rath, George Waldrum, Ben de Pear, Nevine Mabro, Siobhan Sinnerton
Production Company: Channel 4; WGBH
Production Year: 2019
Copyright Year: 2019
Writers: Waad al-Kateab
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Content Warning: The following program contains graphic violence which may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
VIDEO USAGE RIGHTS
Why the Institutional version? Because it provides additional usage options for PBS videos. Institutional versions come with limited public performance rights so they can be shown in University classrooms and transmitted on a closed-circuit system within a building or on a single campus. Institutional version can be shown at free public screenings by libraries, businesses, clubs and community organizations, as long as no admission is charged. For additional questions or to arrange a screening where admission is charged, please contact email@example.com