Posted on 3 Sep 2019

Waad Al-Khateab and her daughter Sama
Waad Al-Khateab and her daughter Sama

An intimate yet epic journey into the female experience of the war in Syria, For Sama is an emotionally wrenching account of a contemporary atrocity. The film tells the story of Waad Al-Khateab’s life through the five years of the uprising in Aleppo as she falls in love, gets married, and gives birth to her daughter, Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rages around her. She captures incredible stories of everyday life as she wrestles with an impossible choice: whether or not to flee to protect her daughter’s life when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.

As Idlib now has become the 'next Aleppo', For Sama helps our understanding of the desperate plight of its people. Dr. Hamza al Kateab (Waad's husband): "And in Idlib, everything is happening all over again: city-wide shootings and chemical attacks. But this time, there's no other place to go." 

For Sama will show at the Irish Film Institute from Friday 13th to Thursday 19th September. The 3.15 pm screening on Saturday 14th will be followed by a panel discussion in association with the Irish Syria Solidarity Movement (email: Panelists will include Dr. Mustafa Alachkar, Manchester Rethink Rebuild Society; Mohammad Debhishma; Leonie O'Dowd from Irish Syria Solidarity Movement; and Ronan Tynan, director Syria: The Impossible Revolution (2018). 

"Garlanded with awards including best documentary at the Cannes and SXSW film festivals and a special jury prize at Hot Docs....the reaction has been unanimous and overwhelming: audiences in every country in which the film has been shown stand and clap (at Cannes in May, they apparently did so for six minutes).” -Observer