For Sama. 2019. UK. Directed by Waad Al-Khateab, Edward Watts. Arabic with English subtitles. 100 min.
The ancient, once-glorious Syrian city of Aleppo has been reduced to rubble since war broke out in 2011. For five years, codirector Waad al-Kateab persistently recorded her private life, her community, local rescue efforts, and the carnage of war using a video camera. This searing documentary takes us to the heart of a horrific warzone constantly bombarded by airstrikes. Despite this life-threatening chaos, people fall in love, raise children, and savor moments of laughter and sweetness. Personal, up-close stories of reluctant refugees and mission-bound rescuers add invaluable perspectives to what’s reported in the global headlines, and bear witness to the resiliency of the human spirit amid a staggering humanitarian crisis. Courtesy Frontline.