THE CAVE and FOR SAMA – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Two intimate documentaries from inside the Syrian civil war, diaries of women who stayed to fight for their nation and help their people, pay tribute to human perseverance and chide Western apathy. In The Cave, we meet Syrian doctor Amani Ballour, a hero(ine) for our times, one whom most of us could not fathom the sacrifice, bravery, and audacity of; this harrowing doc does an excellent job of conveying it to us. For Sama is a heartbreaking testimony of a patriot defending her nation. It’s a wise and beautifully observed film, and an inspiring one, with much to say to us Westerners worried about the paths our own countries seem to be heading down. Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).