In April 2016 Olfa Hamrouni raised the alarm. Her two oldest daughters, Rahma and Ghofrane, both still teenagers, had made their way out of Tunisia to fight for the Islamic State — ISIS — in Libya. Olfa was upset that her children had been allowed to flee the country, and terrified about their fate. This rupture remains the defining tragedy of her life and it’s the subject of this invigorating and inventive hybrid docu-drama from Academy Award-nominee Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin; Beauty and the Dogs).
Not content with interviewing Olfa, Ben Hania casts actresses to play her absent daughters, and leading local star Hend Sabrey also appears as Olfa (and alongside her), while the two younger daughters play themselves in reenactments. All the male parts are performed by the same actor. If this stylized, Brechtian approach sounds ambitious, it is — but this audacious, radical and stimulating movie is like a Catherine Wheel, sending out sparks in all directions.
Golden Eye Documentary Award, Cannes 2023
Gripping… sometimes provocative, sometimes moving, and sometimes, unexpectedly, very funny.
Jessica Kiang, Variety
Eya Chikhaoui, Tayssir Chikhaoui, Olfa Hamrouni, Nour Karoui
In Arabic with English subtitles
Kaouther Ben Hania
Kaouther Ben Hania
Kaouther Ben Hania studied filmmaking in Tunis and in Paris (La Fémis and the Sorbonne). The Challat of Tunis, her first feature-length film, opened the ACID section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and achieved international success on both the festival circuit and cinema screens, where it would be distributed in more than 15 countries. Then, she made Zaineb Hates the Snow, which premiered in 2016 as part of the official selection at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival. Her fiction film Beauty and the Dogs was selected at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section. Her last film The Man Who Sold His Skin, was nominated at the 2021 Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category
Filmography: The Challat of Tunis (2014); Zaineb Hates the Snow (2016); Beauty and the Dogs (2017); The Man who Sold His Skin (2021)
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