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Four Daughters

Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania
110 minutes
Unclassified 18+
This documentary prize winner at Cannes 2023 follows a Tunisian mother whose daughters have gone missing… or may have even joined the Islamic State. A genre-defying and courageous film not to be missed.
Olfa is a tough woman. She’s a solo mother who’s had more than her share of tribulations, leaving her with little liking for girls and even less of men. Lacking a reliable partner, she’s forced to work outside of Tunisia, leaving her four daughters largely to their own devices. When she returns, the daughters have changed and the relationship is fractured. Resulting tensions take an unanticipated turn and before long her two eldest daughters, who have been radicalised in her absence, are missing – and even may have joined the Islamic State. In director Kaouther Ben Hania’s unique cinema hybrid the absent women are played by actors, as is Olfa – when her emotions become too hard to handle. The actors, their involvement and responses, become part of the story. Ben Hania, who filmed the family over several years, tells a powerful story of hope, rebellion, violence and sisterhood, against the background of a patriarchal society and swelling religious tensions. Winner of L’Oeil d’or (the Documentary Award), The Positive Cinema Award, The Citizenship Award, and Special Mention François Chalais Award (dedicated to the values of journalism) at Cannes 2023.
This bold and confrontational film is also joyous, playful and in some ways even empowering.
Wendy Ide, Screen International
Sometimes provocative, sometimes moving, and sometimes, unexpectedly, very funny.
Jessica Kiang, Variety
It’s been almost 20 years since any nonfiction film earned the right to contend for the Palme d’Or (only films in competition can win the festival’s top prize). If Four Daughters should earn that honor, it will be a deserving winner.
Matthew Carey, Deadline
A heartbreaking fresh exploration of motherhood.
Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter


Thu 15 Jun
Dendy Newtown - Cinema 3
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Sun 18 Jun
Dendy Newtown - Cinema 1
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
Late Announce
Unclassified 18+
France, Tunisia, Germany, Saudi Arabia
In Arabic with English subtitles
Kaouther Ben Hania
Nadim Cheikrouha, Thanassis Karathanos, Habib Attia, Martin Hampel
Hend Sabri, Nour Karoui, Ichraq Matar
Kaouther Ben Hania
Farouk Laaridh
Jean-Christophe Hym, Qutaiba Barhamji, Kaouther Ben Hania
Australian Premiere
Documentary, Middle East, Cannes Selected, Late Announce
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