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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

For Sama

Streaming on Kanopy Film & TV

In The Guardian, Mike McCahill described For Sama as a documentary “to break your heart and sear your soul.” Waad al-Kateab, whose story this is, has worked with the director Edward Watts to knit together film she took before and during the Battle of Aleppo. While her camera documents life in the streets, the Syrian economist al-Kateab falls in love with a doctor, marries, and quickly becomes a young mother. As the violence worsens, she and her husband must decide whether to stay and fight or to seek safety for their child. Al-Kateab’s narration takes the form of a love letter from mother to daughter. The film won the Cannes Film Festival Golden Eye, and a handful of other top honors. —E.C.

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