For Sama is an urgent documentary that examines the uprising in Aleppo, Syria through the eyes of a young mother, Waad al-Kateab. A handheld consumer video camera captures her life as she marries and gives birth to a daughter amidst the devastation of a city. The built-in human interest is considerable. The title, story, and execution are reminiscent of Humphrey Jennings’ A Diary for Timothy, a groundbreaking docudrama released in the final days of WWII. The film reaches commercial theaters on the heels of several awards, including a GoldenEye at Cannes. Edward Watts co-directed with al-Kateab.

Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, Fri., July 26, various showtimes; $9-$12. (310)-478-3836,

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