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Ghost Canyon

'For Sama'
(DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: 'For Sama' is 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.

DVD Verdict: Rightly so, 'For Sama' received a standing ovation at its world premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. It also received the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature.

It is a truly remarkable film. Each of us tries to go through his/her daily life and pretend there is no place in the world where human beings are being routinely slaughtered as occurred in Aleppo.

Waad Al-Khateab is a hero. She and her husband - a doctor - stayed in Aleppo through the worst of the siege. He saved lives and she documented the horrors for the world to see.

'For Sama' presents some of the most unflinching war coverage that I have ever seen. The beauty of the film is that she presents it as almost a love letter to her infant daughter Sama who was born in Aleppo in the months leading up to the siege.

She is trying to tell her story and the story of her city (one of the oldest continuously populated cities on the planet). The contrast between the horror of parents try to care and protect an infant while simultaneously trying to save lives and document the horror is breathtaking and heart-wrenching.

'For Sama' is, without a shadow of a doubt, a love story set amidst the flames of Hell. This is a story that needs to be widely viewed and it will be since it was picked up by PBS and is now out on DVD.

In closing, everyone who loves children and hates war (and I really hope that is everyone) should see this film. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.