KAOUTHER BEN HANIA | FRANCE, TUNISIA, GERMANY, SAUDI ARABIA, CYPRUS | 2023 | 107 MIN | ARABIC
Four Daughters is a groundbreaking documentary that defies convention and redefines the boundaries of the genre. It celebrated its World Premiere at the prestigious 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where it claimed the coveted top documentary prize. The film seamlessly merges reality and fiction through the artful use of actors, sensitively delving into the lives of a Tunisian clan of women grappling with grief and the echoes of generational trauma. In 2015, the two eldest daughters of Olfa Hamrouni mysteriously vanished, leaving their mother and younger sisters shattered and bewildered. Director Kaouther Ben Hania (Beauty and the Dogs, PFF26) employs professional actors to embody the missing sisters in order to aid the family’s search for closure, leading to a profoundly moving character study. The unique exploration illuminates the enduring impact of unresolved trauma and unveils the harsh consequences of oppressive societal constraints. It’s a powerful journey through the intricate dynamics of family, the complexities of femininity, the resilience of the human spirit, and the unwavering strength of sisterly bonds.