A big congratulations are in order for Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania, whose docu-drama Four Daughters was selected as Tunisia’s entry for the best international feature film and the best director categories at the 2024 Academy Awards.
The film was one of the recipients of the L’Oeil d’or, the Golden Eye, at the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival back in May. She shared the best documentary prize with Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir. Ben Hania’s last feature, The Man Who Sold His Skin, was nominated for an Academy Award for best international film in 2021, making history as the first time that Tunisia had made the Oscars shortlist.
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In Four Daughters, Ben Hania paints a gripping picture of a mother’s anguish as her daughters become entangled with extremism. Based on a real-life story, the film features Tunisian actress Hind Sabri as Olfa Hamrouni, a Tunisian housekeeper in her forties from a poor background, who has seen her two teenage daughters become radicalized, run away, join Daesh in Libya and end up imprisoned there following an American attack.
Following its Cannes premiere, the film has also gone on to play in Sarajevo, Brussels, and Munich, picking up Jury awards at the last two film festivals. It is also set to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival this month.
So far, Four Daughters is the only Arab film to be submitted in the International Feature Film category for this year’s Oscars.