Syrian documentary 'For Sama' wins best documentary at Cannes film festival

The chronicle of the conflict in Aleppo won the Golden Eye Documentary Prize
Syrian director and producer Waad al-Kateab poses during a photocall for the film 'For Sama' at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival
Syrian director and producer Waad al-Kateab poses during a photocall for the film 'For Sama' at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival

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A Syrian documentary chronicling the conflict in Aleppo has won the Golden Eye Documentary Prize at the Cannes film festival.

Directed by duo Waad al-Khateab and Edward Watts, For Sama records five years of al-Kateab's own life as an aspiring journalist in her besieged hometown of Aleppo, marrying one of the last doctors in the city and giving birth to her daughter, to whom the film is dedicated.

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The documentary is a kind of letter to the little girl, explaining how she was born into the conflict and what happened to her home.

In the Palme d'Or category – the festival’s top award - the jury gave a special mention to Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman's It Must Be Heaven – a film about a love affair across the Israeli-Palestinian divide, travels to Paris, New York and other cities for this rumination on a life lived in exile.

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho won the Palme d'Or top prize at Cannes with Parasite, a bravura satirical morality tale about the widening gap between rich and poor in his homeland.

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Bong, 49, is the first Korean to ever win the top award at the world's biggest film festival.

He called his longtime leading actor, Song Kang-ho, whom he described as his "alter-ego" onto the stage to receive the award with him. "I was a little boy who was crazy about cinema since I was 12 years old," he said.

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