Sama, you’re the most beautiful thing in our life.

But what a life I’ve brought you into
…will you ever forgive me?

A film for those who have the audacity to hope for a better future, in spite of the tragedy that awaits those that walk the path. Framed as a love letter and an explanation to her newborn daughter Sama, For Sama (Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts, 2019) documents why Waad Al-Kateab chose to stay in Aleppo under increasing bombardment. As we befriend and identify with our onscreen surrogate, audiences begin to ask ourselves how long we would dare to stand (unarmed) against tyranny as we watch the city crumble.

Al-Kateab’s hand-held camera becomes a prosthetic appendage to her body, as she reveals her waltz between danger and determination, for those who dare to look. What emerges is a devastating scrapbook of how women see and experience war. We witness, in all of its clarity and brutality, the human cost of modern warfare. What life is like for those that live behind the frontlines.

Yet this is not misery porn. Astoundingly, there is still hope. This is embodied in a seemingly stillborn baby, recovered in an emergency C-section from a mother with shrapnel in her head. Miraculously, both survive. That is the will that Bashar al-Assad was contending with. That without weapons, without international support, people still believed in a better Syria and would remain in the country as a testament to the fact that all hope is not lost.

FINAL SCREENING: 10 Aug, 18:00, DokuKino