Review no 83: Syrian feature documentary ‘For Sama’

I watched For Sama (2019) on All 4, knowing only that it was an Oscar-nominated film about the Syrian conflict, dedicated to the baby daughter of the journalist and film maker Waad al-Kateab (and co-directed by Edward Watts). I expected it to be harrowing, but I was unprepared for how gripping and powerful the film …

Review no 59: Capernaum, film by Nadine Labaki (Lebanon)

NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA This is a beautifully realised but harrowing 2018 film, directed and co-written by Nadine Labaki, and nominated in the category of Best Foreign Language Film in the 91st Academy Awards. The film made the shortlist, although it eventually lost out to Mexican film Roma. According to Wikipedia, Capernaum (a …

Review no 54: The Attack, book by Yasmina Khadra (Algeria)

Translated from the French by John Cullen NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA Yasmina Khadra is the nom de plume used by veteran Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul, who now lives in France. He has written several novels that have been translated into English, including this one, The Attack, which has been shortlisted for …