Home / News / The story of two girls joining ISIS was nominated for an Oscar

The story of two girls joining ISIS was nominated for an Oscar


Olfa Hamrouni doesn’t know much about her grandson; not his favorite toy or food; Is it the pasta that the child’s mother likes or something else?

The Tunisian grandma doesn’t even let her mind go there. “I do not want to know. “What for other than more heartache?” she said.

For now, he is fighting only for 8-year-old Fatma. The boy spent almost his entire life growing up in custody in Libya with his mother and aunt, Hamrouni’s eldest daughters; The women found themselves here after leaving their homes as teenagers and joining extremist Islamic State groups.

The real-life story of Hamrouni and her children is the focus of “Four Girls,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary film. Kaouther in front of the camera Ben Hania’s film has many layers: The film is about the radicalization of two young girls; an intimate portrait of a chaotic and often dysfunctional family life; and reflections on generational trauma, patriarchy, motherhood, and adolescence.

Behind the scenes, this is more than just one family’s story.

Names change, details change, but this nightmare is familiar to some people in Tunisia; At one point, many people left the country to join militant groups, including the Islamic State, in conflict zones abroad. Militants also hit targets in Tunisia. Today, families like Hamrouni’s are living reminders of that complex legacy, of unresolved issues and difficult questions that remain years later.

“This… is an open wound in my country,” said actor Hend Sabri, who plays Hamrouni in some scenes in the film. “We’re not going to get better unless we talk about this.”

Hamrouni hopes the film’s high profile will increase his advocacy for his daughters to be repatriated from Libya, where they were sentenced to prison, and tried in their home country. In Tunisia, as in other countries, some people are suspicious and afraid of returnees for security reasons.

Hamrouni wants Fatma to be free from the confines of her existence. “What is his fault? “He didn’t choose either his mother or his father.”

Ben Hania, who wrote and directed the film, also echoed the demands. “We are working hard to pressure the Tunisian government,” he said. “A country is responsible to its citizens.”

The film experiments with the format. Hamrouni and her youngest daughters, Eya and Tayssir, look like themselves. Alongside Sabri, the actors also portray their separated daughters, Ghofrane and Rahma, as Ben Hania reconstructs the family’s history, looking for clues to their radicalization. (The film offers theories but not concrete reasons, especially with the real Ghofrane and Rahma being imprisoned in Libya.) In some scenes, the actors reenact key moments with family members; in others they question, challenge or reflect. Ben Hania said that his role as a filmmaker is not to judge, but to understand and analyze.

In the film and the family’s narrative, their daughters grew up with very little in a turbulent home. My father was often absent and drank too much; My mother was overburdened and harsh.

In the film, Hamrouni is determined to preserve his daughters’ sexual purity for marriage. He is quick to hurl insults and accusations and punish perceived or actual transgressions—a waxed leg, a diary entry about a first kiss—with severe beatings.

There was a rebellion, a gothic period, a man on a motorcycle. Then, the changes that swept Tunisia in the wake of the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement more than a decade ago brought about another transformation, with different currents, including hardliners and extremists, vying for influence. A preaching tent was opened in the family’s neighborhood.

Ghofrane and Rahma, who said his mother grew up with only basic religious knowledge, were introduced to strict interpretations. Their radicalization grew deeper; In the film, Rahma is said to have whipped her younger sisters for not praying or being late, whipped herself for things like gossiping, and fantasized about stoning a woman who had sex outside of marriage.

According to the film, when Ghofrane left nearly a decade ago, Hamrouni asked the police for help to stop Rahma from following him. He accuses the police of doing too little.

The family broke up. Hamrouni was grieving the dead girls and worried about the rest. A child at that time, he adored Rahma and absorbed the beliefs of his sisters. The other, Eya, was dissolving.

The young girls were placed in a government facility, which they believe helped them rebuild their lives. But the family says life outside is difficult and neighbors and relatives stay away from them.

Mohamed Iqbel Ben Rejeb of the Association for the Rescue of Tunisians Trapped Abroad said some people who find themselves in similar situations sometimes reject family members who left to protect those left behind from disaster. Others are struggling to get their loved ones back to their country. Some people don’t know whether their loved ones are dead or alive.

He said his organization does not defend Tunisians with blood on their hands, but advocates for the rehabilitation of others and, in particular, the rescue and reintegration of children taken by their parents to conflict zones or born there. But he also says Tunisia may not have enough capacity and argues that officials often drag their feet.

She and other activists are particularly concerned with children’s rights and their future. They warn that inaction can be dangerous.

“The normal place for children is the extended family, that is, the school,” said Mostafa Abdelkebir, head of the Tunisian Observatory for Human Rights. “After spending a long time in prisons and camps… they will become angry with society, they will turn into ticking time bombs.”

Abdelkebir called on Tunisian authorities to find solutions and especially to bring home children from abroad, but said the issue of repatriation is often mired in numerous diplomatic, political, financial, legal or logistical difficulties.

Still, according to Abdelkebir, some Tunisian women who were cleared by Libyan courts were sent back to Tunisia, where they were detained. He added that many children, including orphans, were also returned. He said the children were given to relatives or placed in state social care facilities. Tunisian government officials did not comment or respond to questions at time of publication about the sisters’ case and the larger issue of repatriation.

Sabri, one of the Arab world’s best-known stars, said he was heartbroken for Fatma but found it difficult to sympathize with Ghofrane and Rahma. It also emphasizes the importance of accountability for Tunisians who participate in such groups.

During filming, Hamrouni saw a mirror held up to his life.

Hamrouni, who had a difficult childhood herself, said that she knew where she made mistakes as a mother and that her own mistakes did not justify her daughters’ decisions. But she also blames the political climate and government policies at the time they were radicalized at a young age, and says the pair now regret their choices.

When asked about Fatma, Hamrouni’s voice softens. Her eyes shine before bursting into tears.

Fatma is upset about how she will learn manners. Who will teach him about his country? How will he grow up to love Tunisia and know how to deal with others?

Hamrouni, who remarried and now lives outside Tunisia, said there would be no more beatings if Fatma lived with him. “I will teach him to distinguish right from wrong, but let him make his own choices.”

But nothing is certain. She pities Fatma, how little she knows the world, how the world treats her.

“His past was bleak,” Hamrouni said. “Only God knows what awaits him.”


About yönetici

Check Also

Meet the 2023-24 Aurora-Elgin men’s basketball all-District team

[ad_1] Players from Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Oswego East and Class 1A state finalist Aurora …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch Dragon ball super