Reconstructing Memory with Kaouther Ben Hania

Spotlight Join Oscar®-nominated director Kaouther Ben Hania for an in-depth exploration of her creative approach to fact, memory and reconstruction in the daring hybrid documentary, Four Daughters.

When two of Olfa Hamrouni’s four daughters, teenagers Ghofrane and Rahma Chikhaoui, ran away to Libya to join ISIS, the Tunisian mother generated headlines by refusing to be shamed into silence, instead calling out local authorities for their indifference and inaction around their radicalisation. In 2023, Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s Oscar®-nominated Four Daughters – a daring hybrid documentary portrait of Hamrouni and her two younger daughters Eya and Tayssir Chikhaoui – premiered in Official Competition at Cannes, where it went on to win the prestigious L’Œil award for Best Documentary.

Eschewing a simple retelling of this family’s story, Ben Hania’s documentary is a jaw-dropping work of metafiction, in which actors were hired to play Olfa, and her missing daughters, to help the family members explore the trauma, social structure and political climate that led to the disappearance of Ghofrane and Rahma. Join Kaouther Ben Hania for an in-depth exploration of the creative and complex approach to fact, memory and reconstruction that has seen her documentary heralded around the world. In this spotlight session we probe Ben Hania’s creative documentary process, asking what deeper truths can be gleaned when we experiment with form in documentary.


Kaouther Ben Hania’s Four Daughters screens 6.30pm, Wednesday 6 March at ACMI Cinemas, as part of AIDC’s Documented Screening Program, co-presented with ACMI. Book your tickets here.

Image Credit: Four Daughters (The Party Film Sales, 2023)