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maryann johanson, striking from a hidden base

The Cave and For Sama documentaries review: life inside a war zone

by MaryAnn Johanson

The Cave and For Sama green light

MaryAnn’s quick take…
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.

part of my Movies for the Resistance series
I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for movies by and about women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

women’s participation in
The Cave

(learn more about this)
male director, female coscreenwriter, female protagonist



women’s participation in
For Sama

(learn more about this)
female codirector, female coscreenwriter, female protagonist



Click here for my ranking of these and 2019’s other theatrical releases.



The Cave (2019)
green light 5 stars

For Sama (2019)
green light 5 stars

The Cave (2019) | directed by Feras Fayyad
US/Canada release date: Oct 18 2019 | UK release date: Dec 06 2019

MPAA: rated PG-13 for disturbing war-related thematic content and images
BBFC: rated 15 (distressing images, bloody images)

viewed at home on PR-supplied physical media or screening link

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

watch at home

For Sama (2019) | directed by Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
US/Canada release date: Jul 26 2019 | UK release date: Sep 13 2019

MPAA: not rated
BBFC: rated 18 (disturbing scenes, images of real dead bodies)

viewed at home on PR-supplied physical media or screening link

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

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