Where to Stream the Oscar-Nominated Documentary “For Sama”

January 13, 2020

Across five years of the brutal Syrian conflict, a young woman named Waad al-Kateab kept her camera rolling — while falling in love, getting married to one of the last doctors in Aleppo, becoming a mother as her city crumbled, and facing the impossible choice of whether to stay or go.

Now, her family’s story of perseverance and survival as told in the documentary For Sama, has earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature.

Directed by al-Kateab and Edward Watts and narrated as a message to al-Kateab’s daughter, Sama, the Oscar-nominated film documents the harrowing realities of the Syrian conflict — hospitals bombed, children killed, Aleppo turned to rubble — from a rare perspective: that of a mom trying to raise her baby daughter in the middle of a war zone. 

For Sama is streaming in full at the top of this story, in FRONTLINE’s documentary archive, on pbs.org, on the PBS Video App, and on demand.

An Oscar nod for Best Documentary Feature is far from the first honor For Sama has received. Made with FRONTLINE’s partners at Channel 4, Channel 4 News, ITN, and PBS Distribution, the documentary has earned more than 30 awards — including the top documentary prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the top prize at the IDA Documentary Awards, and the National Board of Review’s Freedom of Expression Award — and recently became the most nominated documentary ever in the history of the BAFTAs, the British equivalent of the Oscars.

In addition to earning acclaim on the awards circuit, For Sama has put a spotlight on the continued bombing of hospitals in Syria. It was cited in testimony before the United Nations Security Council about attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Syria, and was screened at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The 2020 Academy Awards ceremony will take place Sunday, Feb. 9.

Patrice Taddonio

Patrice Taddonio, Digital Writer & Audience Development Strategist



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