Higgins’s review published on Letterboxd:
Imagine living in a war zone. Imagine your favorite restaurant, your neighbors' house, any place you go, turned to rubble￼￼. Imagine your children knowing the difference between a cluster bomb and other types of tools of mass devastation. Imagine never knowing what tomorrow holds but knowing that you will be scared. For Sama is a film documenting the rebellion in Syria through the eyes of a woman documenting the story of her homeland for her young daughter Sama. With all the devastation, filmmaker, journalist and central focus, Waad al-Kateab tries to answer one question￼￼￼￼ for her daughter “why did your father and I bring you into this world?“￼
The film starts in 2013 with the peaceful protests - People coming together from different religious backgrounds to end the corruption in government and find, in their words, freedom. ￼ From there, Waad chronicles the unimaginable horror these human beings endured and continue to endure, all the while desperately clinging to any hope they can. Do you flee? Do you pray? How do you go on?￼￼￼
There are things, truly horrible things, ￼you can’t unsee in this film and at the same point they are things we, as humans, should all witness - The suffering, the loss the desperation, the terror and the constant heartbreak visited on these human beings by other human beings. And for what?￼￼
At one moment in the film, Waad explains￼ that the Syrian people are crying out to the world for help. Help them. If only by watching films like this and The Cave so that you too can understand. ￼￼ The Syrian people need so much more than understanding but at least understanding would be something.
Does Waad answer the question to her daughter in the end? You should find out. ￼￼