FOR SAMA – Review by Loren King

“We never thought the world would let this happen.” That’s the haunting phrase from 26-year old filmmaker and activist Waad al-Kateab, who chronicles her life during the five years that her beloved city of Aleppo, Syria was destroyed by the corrupt government of Bashar al-Assad. If not turning away is how we must confront the violence, inhumanity and senselessness of war, this brutal, heart-wrenching film is essential viewing.

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FOR SAMA – Review by Susan Wlosczcyna

Never mind all those so-called superheroes that have dominated movie screens for the past two decades. Now is not the time for escapist fantasies. For Sama is the reality wake-up call we as a country desperately need right now, one that shows what happens to a society when corruption, injustice and oppression goes unchecked.

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FOR SAMA – Review by Jennifer Merin

For Sama is a harrowing first person documentary in which the filmmaker, Waad Al-Khateab, a Syrian woman journalist, chronicles her daily life and struggles to survive during the Battle of Aleppo. Waad states that she is making the film for her daughter, Sama, who was conceived and born during the five-year siege that devastated her home town. The film is intended, she says, to let Sama know who her parents were, what they believed in and why they joined the rebels who were fighting for freedom from the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 19, 2019: Claudia Myers’ ABOVE THE SHADOWS

Just about everyone ends up feeling invisible at some point during their teen years — but what if you actually disappeared? That’s what happens to Holly in writer/director Claudia Myers Above the Shadows, a drama/fantasy that serves as an allegory for what it’s like to be marginalized out of your very existence.

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ABOVE THE SHADOWS – Review by Leslie Combemale

Loss changes us. Sometimes we face that, sometimes we don’t. That’s something new indie release and winner of the audience award at the Brooklyn Film Festival Above the Shadows explores. A fantasy anchored in the reality of 21st century daily life, it is the story of Holly, (Olivia Thirlby) who, after losing her beloved mother, fades out of sight over time.

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TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM – Review by Martha K Baker

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am treats viewers to a life of words wrought. Toni Morrison, now 78, sits like a great Buddha throughout this excellent documentary. Clad in silver and grey and black, she is imperturbable, articulate, magisterial, satiny, wise. She makes no apologies for her work, her honors, her offerings. These pieces she is rate as significant — as essential as a quilt’s.

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ABOVE THE SHADOWS – Review by Sheila Roberts

In Claudia Myers’ indie fantasy drama, Above The Shadows, Holly is lonely, grief stricken and isolated, and she is left with no choice but to navigate the world from the shadows. She was the closest of all the children to her mother, whom she felt was the only person in the world who understood and cared for her. When she tries to interact with the rest of her family after her mother’s death, they ignore her until she fades completely from their presence and is forgotten.

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