In Photos: Tunisian film Four Daughters receives praise as it premieres at Cannes

Ahram Online , Saturday 20 May 2023

Tunisian Director Kaouther Ben Hania's new semi-documentary Banat Olfa (Four Daughters) has received a warm welcome on Saturday during its premiere part of the 76th Cannes Film Festival.

Kaouther Ben Hania s Les Filles D Olfa  (Four Daughters)
(From L) Tunisian actress Hend Sabri, Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania and Tunisian actress Olfa Hamrouni attend a press conference for the film Banat Olfa (Four Daughters) during the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 20, 2023. Photo: AFP


The screening was attended by the director as well as cast members Hend Sabri, Ichraq Matar, Nour Karoui, Tayssir Chikhaoui, Eya Chikahoui, Majd Mastoura and Olfa Hamrouni.

Competing at the main segment of the festival for the top award Palme d’Or, Four Daughters revolves around the life of a mother trying to deal with the radicalization of her children.

The film, which blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction and between being on-screen and off-screen, has recived praise by many critics in international media.

Kaouther Ben Hania imagined the film after listening to a woman named olfa recounting the disappearance of two of her four daughters on a radio  program.

The versatile Egyptian-Tunisian star Hend Sabry portrayed Olfa in Four Daughters.

“Digging into the contradictions, sensations, and emotions surrounding this story required time that journalists just don’t have,” the director explained to the Cannes Film Festival.

“It’s the role of cinema to go off and explore these areas and these ambiguities of the human soul.”

Born in Sidi Bouzid in 1977, Ben Hania has established a significant career in cinema, gaining several awards for four short films, a documentary as well as four feature films.

Her features include The Blade of Tunis, Beauty and the Dogs and The Man Who Sold His Skin, which was the first Tunisian film nominated for the Best International Feature Film Oscar.

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