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Oscar 2020, the spotlight is on the tragedy of syria with two documentaries candidates
the ROME - Two women immersed in the atrocities of the war in syria. Between the explosions continue, the blood and the earth that shape the children to be injured, the rubble and the unique panorama and the death as a traveling companion, remain in their Country facing impossible conditions to fight and to testify. Among the five documentaries nominated at the Oscar 2020 there are two, which tell from the inside and from a female point of view, the tragedy of syria: "To my little Sama", of Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts and "The Cave", of Feras Fayyad.

In Aleppo, 2011. "To my little Sama" is set to Aleppo, where Waad al-Kateab is determined to remain, together with his partner - then-husband - in spite of the violence is erasing every possibility of life. It is an activist, fighting for freedom, is opposed to the Assad regime, but also, and especially, grabbing his camera, with which from 2011 to 2016 records the desperate attempts of normalcy - his and his loved ones - constantly bombarded by a conflict of which you can see, clear, the consequences. Her boyfriend Hamza is a doctor, as persistent as she is in the will of resistance. Together, they play their part: he care for men, women and (many) children with the few resources at their disposal; she testifies to the violence. And show that life is stronger than death, giving birth to a baby girl, Sama (which is the focus of the documentary) in a situation of siege, the physical and the psychological.

Images, harsh, overwhelming, miraculous. The images that the camera of Waad al-Kateab door viewers are often appalling, sometimes unbearable, in certain moments, the miraculous, as when in the midst of the chaos of explosions and wounded on the first floor, on a child apparently dead, just made to be born with a caesarean section from the mother arrived unconscious at the hospital, record the precise moment in which the small open eyes suddenly. After having resisted long and the other side, a hope of the future to the destruction widespread, Waad al-Kateab and Hamza were then forced to flee. Now Waad al-Kateab lives in London and works for Channel 4 News.

Ghouta, near Damascus. After "Last Men in Aleppo", for which she was nominated for an Oscar, the director the syrian Feras Fayyad brings us another incredible testimony of the situation in his Country with "The Cave", the result of hundreds of hours of filmed images, between 2011 and 2018, risking life. Also here in the centre there is a woman, dr. Amani Ballour, a young pediatrician who runs an underground hospital in the Ghouta, in the suburban area of Damascus. Amani pays the care of challenging not only the war, but also the patriarchy that continually tries to delegittimarla. In the garrison doctor that you guide with courage, the horror of children affected by chemical attacks and the despair of mothers who see death of their children, there is also here the attempt of normality to a team that is the time to celebrate a birthday, or a surgeon and work only and only with the classical music in the background.

To Fayyad denied the visa for the USA. "The Cave" is an extraordinary film not only for what it tells and how it does it, but also to the incredible challenges he has faced the crew during the realization. Not only because of the dangers, but also to make sure that the images turn not ending up in the wrong hands and arrive intact to the producers in Denmark. Finally, the director Feras Fayyad has been denied a visa to enter the United States, where he is expected to complete the promotion of the film. The National Academy of Television Art & Sciences a few days ago he wrote a letter to the Us secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in order to bring the case to his attention: “it Seems that the visas have been denied solely on the basis of the nationality of the applicant. But it is precisely the nationality, to make a work like the one produced by Mr. Fayyad to be so interesting”.

distribution in Italy. To my little Sama will be in theaters by mid-February distributed by Wanted Movie, while The Cave is presented with projections-event in the framework of the Month of the Documentary film after being shown at the Festival dei Popoli in florence. Both were, from their appearance, they were overwhelmed by the prizes. Now await the verdict of the Academy american.

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