Wrapped in a pink-and-white striped blanket, the baby girl coos at her mother, who gently speaks and sings to her from the other side of the camera. Eyes wide, the baby reaches for a tiny foot and brings it to her mouth. For just a moment, it could be any smitten new mom’s footage of her baby daughter. Then comes the sound of an explosion.
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Moments like this one, where joy and attempts at normalcy collide with unimaginable violence, are woven throughout the new documentary “For Sama” — a powerful chronicle of one young woman’s journey through love, motherhood and survival during the Syrian conflict.
That young woman is filmmaker Waad al-Kateab, mother to baby Sama, in the scene above. In shaky handheld footage from the film’s opening moments, we watch al-Kateab and others rush down to the basement in search of safety. An explosion hits, and a corridor fills with smoke.
The building they’re in, we realize, is a hospital.
Watch the full film, “For Sama” — the story of one woman’s experience of love, motherhood and survival during the Syrian conflict — on FRONTLINE starting Tues., Nov. 18: https://to.pbs.org/2NXI60V
Tune in or stream on PBS (check local listings), at pbs.org/frontline, on YouTube or on the PBS Video App. The documentary is produced by Channel 4 News and ITN Productions for Channel 4 and FRONTLINE (PBS).
FRONTLINE is streaming more than 200 documentaries online, for free, here: http://to.pbs.org/hxRvQP
Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, The John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.