For Sama

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FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab's life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice - whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter's life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.


  • Waad Al-Kateab
  • Hamza Al-Khateab
  • Sama Al-Khateab

Did You Know?


  • The filming covers five years, between the start of protests against the government of Syria in 2012, and 2017.
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    • Waad Al-Khateab: Sama. You're the most beautiful thing in our life. But what a life I've brought you into. You didn't choose this. Will you ever forgive me?
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Atom User Reviews

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Jul 25, 2019

Following the siege month by month through 2016, the film has a gripping narrative drive, with many sequences that work to variously harrowing and cathartic effect.

Jonathan Romney
Screen Daily
Jun 30, 2019

The footage, as personal as it is horrific, is often hard to watch.

Metacritic review by Steve Pond
Steve Pond
Mar 16, 2019

Revisiting some of the events that marked Aleppo’s final year under siege, as well as those that led up to them, the film offers up a rare firsthand account of war from a strictly female perspective, focusing on how conflict affects families, and, especially, the hundreds of innocent victims that are children.

Metacritic review by Jordan Mintzer
Jordan Mintzer
The Hollywood Reporter