By Samantha Cox
Kaouther Ben Hania’s Four Daughters retells the story of a mother, Olfa, whose eldest daughters, Ghofrane and Rahma, disappear to join ISIS. It is a documentary that both recreates what happened and lets the real family recount the events leading up to the disappearance. In the beginning, the two youngest daughters recount the time their mother had a boyfriend who mistreated them. The older of the two, Eya, is angry with him but she admits that she let him behave poorly because he made Olfa happy. Tayssir, the youngest daughter, states that while she resents him for his actions, she does not hate him because he was the closest thing she had to a father figure. The opinions of Eya and Tayssir in this situation encapsulate the family’s internal struggle throughout the entire movie. These perspectives are what made the movie so powerful.
Family love is unconditional. While audiences have never experienced what these women have gone through, they understand what it is like to feel betrayed by family members but still love and want to make sacrifices for them. These girls experience so much pain because of their sisters, yet they continue to yearn for them, which is a testament to how powerful and complicated family can be. Towards the end, Tayssir admits that she loved her older sister Rahma more than anyone else in the world. Although she was left behind by her, there was still so much depth to how she felt towards her. This movie tells the complicated story of a grief-stricken family, leaving audiences both distraught and moved.