Four Daughters (2023) Movie Script

In this film,
I will try to tell
the story of Olfa's daughters.
Olfa has four daughters.
The two youngest, Eya and Tayssir,
still live with her.
The two eldest,
Rahma and Ghofrane,
were devoured by the wolf.
Where is Olfa?
Is she here?
She's on her way.
I'm so stressed!
It's like I'm shooting my first film.
I can't explain it.
Is she stressed
about meeting me too?
Did she say anything to you?
She wants to see the actors
who will play her two eldest girls.
More than me?
That's weird.
Very well.
So I'm worrying more than her.
As I understand it,
I am like the character of Rose,
in Titanic.
She tells her story,
and then actors interpret this story.
So I am Rose!
But in Four Daughters.
That's not exactly what will happen.
You, Eya and Tayssir
will act in the film.
But there will also be an actor,
who will play your character
when the scenes are too upsetting.
You will have to feel
everything that I felt,
that I went through
with my two eldest girls.
The suffering that I endured.
The pain of separation.
The anguish of waking up
with the memory of their disappearance.
And that could drive you crazy.
You know, as actors,
we learn how to keep a certain distance.
Becoming totally involved in a story,
immersing yourself
in an unknown reality,
can be very unsettling.
And it's true that it can hurt you,
so I have learned to protect myself.
And what if you can't?
If you can't get the character
out of your head?
If they unnerve you,
because they seem too real?
Kaouther isn't going
to invent anything in this story,
it is all true.
And that could disturb you.
Yes, I have to protect myself.
Eya and Tayssir,
you will also play yourselves.
I will introduce you
to the two actors
who will play your older sisters,
Rahma and Ghofrane.
I recognize Ghofrane.
She is Ghofrane.
And that's Rahma.
Is that right?
How did you guess?
Ghofrane... I will tell you.
Ghofrane has curly hair,
and she is slim too.
And also,
she exudes femininity, like you.
And you look like Rahma.
And me.
For me, as their mother,
nobody can replace Rahma and Ghofrane.
-You think we're going to replace them?
-She looks like Ghofrane.
-She does. There's something.
She has the same smile.
The resemblance is striking
on that last photo of her.
I imagine that Kaouther had this photo.
She chose you well.
Above all,
it's a question of character.
Very feminine.
Ghofrane is calmer, right?
Rahma is sitting by me.
Ghofrane takes me in her arms,
Rahma doesn't.
Ghofrane sits next to me,
Rahma doesn't!
Come and sit next to your mother!
[speaking Arabic]
That is what will be painful
about this film.
We are going to relive it all.
It's going to reopen the wounds.
It's not...
I have never cried
over their disappearance.
I didn't even say
their names anymore.
I wasn't able to.
Just saying "Rahma" and "Ghofrane",
it reminds me of tragedy,
misery, extreme pain.
-All good?
Kaouther told me
that Olfa found it hard
to see "her daughters".
She broke down.
She couldn't even speak.
So, I am going to take her place.
Here, yes.
-I am "Mom".
-Nice to meet you.
Who shall we start with?
Rahma or Ghofrane?
-That's Rahma. How old was she there?
Open it more.
That's fine. It's fastened.
-Help each other.
-A second.
-Did you often help your sisters?
-I used to wear one as well.
-You wore the hijab?
From what age did you wear it?
When I was eight or nine, maybe.
For Ghofrane,
it really is a great job.
And Rahma, it's a fail?
With you, it's your personality.
It's your character that is similar.
You really remind me of them.
They tried on the hijab,
they liked it and they kept it.
[mumbling in Arabic]
Like I told you,
my mother was a single mother,
who was raising several daughters.
We were easy prey.
In a world without mercy.
My mother only had daughters.
Our father left us.
Often, men tried
to enter our home by force.
They tried to break down the door!
I was the only one
who was able to defend us.
"I was the only one
who was able to defend us."
"I was the only one
who was able to defend us."
I was young at the time.
I was just 13 or 14 years old.
But I was brave.
I was convinced that we had
to stand up for ourselves, you know?
"You know?"
"But I was brave.
I was convinced
that we had to stand up for ourselves."
I started to do weight training.
I did weight training,
I cut my hair like a boy,
I dressed like a guy...
I became a man,
to protect my mother.
I hit anyone who attacked us.
All of them.
I gave them all a beating!
"I hit anyone who attacked us.
I gave them all a beating!"
[layered speaking in Arabic]
[inaudible Arabic]
I behaved like a guy.
I had turned into a guy.
Then a man came into my life,
and he broke me.
On my wedding night...
You know this kind of people.
You know what they expect.
Gently, Abderahmane,
I'm not going to take off.
Go gently, please.
I'll show you gently!
No, I didn't beg him.
I was firm, I gave him orders.
Now I remember, my sister came in.
May she be cursed!
She told him:
"Don't bother with the bed,
throw her on the floor
and block her in the corner."
And after that, she left the room.
Show me,
as if you were your sister.
How's it going, Abderahmane?
Are you done?
This bitch,
she won't give herself to me.
What's the matter with you, Olfa?
What is your problem?
Go on, give yourself.
Or confess, if you have a problem.
People are waiting.
You want to cause a scene?
-Your sister really said that?
-And after?
-He pushed me onto the bed.
Get off me!
Shut your mouth!
-Stop that.
-Shut it.
I swear
that you're not going to touch me.
Get off me!
He burped!
And the people who are waiting outside?
You want to bring shame on us?
You hear how he burps?
So what?
It's not like you don't know him.
Don't be a pain. Hurry up!
He hasn't even looked at me.
You, listen to me.
My sister is a tough nut to crack.
See that corner?
Block her in there and do your business.
You have no shame.
People are waiting, hurry up.
-There'll be no scenes tonight.
-Get out.
-Are you not a virgin?
-I am!
-If you aren't, say so.
-I am, don't worry.
You're not here to have a good time.
Go on, leave us.
And you,
show her that you're a man.
All right, get out of here.
-And you, get up.
-I'm getting up.
-Get in the corner.
-Okay, I'm going.
I'm going to the corner.
If you want to do it in the corner,
we'll go there.
Go on, in the corner.
Get your hands off!
-You coward!
-Dirty whore!
-Dirty little...
-I'm going to show you!
You want to be a man?
-I'll teach you!
-Get off me, you bitch!
I'll teach you what being a man is!
There, are you happy?
Here it is!
Go on, wipe yourself off!
You can come in.
I did this.
And she took out the sheet.
-A sheet stained with his blood?
-Yes, it was his blood.
Outside they began the party,
the ululations, the rifle shots...
They were rejoicing,
when he hadn't actually touched me.
After we wed,
my co-workers
would talk about their husbands.
They would talk about
what they got up to together.
I had nothing to tell
I was a little jealous.
We should concentrate for instance
When we watched a movie
with romantic scenes,
I would say to him:
"Look, that's sweet."
And he would insult the actress.
She's a slut, that actress.
Hend Sabri, a slut?
-A total slut.
-Oh really?
I love you so much,
I want to bite you.
I would like to be a slut too.
Go ahead.
I can't, by myself.
We have to do it together.
Did she say anything to you?
[muttering in Arabic]
It makes sense!
-Being slutty on my own?
-I know...
It's always the same.
It's never the men who are insulted.
Fix your moustache.
You, when you act out
this kind of sequence,
no one insults you.
Me, of course, I am a slut.
It's true!
In life like in the movies.
-Damn it!
What do you think?
Sometimes, I told him:
"I'm going to teach you something.
Say: I love you."
Tell me: "I love you."
I'd like to hear you say it.
It's a beautiful word.
Making love, it's also about foreplay.
Things to do and say.
Come on!
But it went over his head. In the end,
I banned him from coming near me.
You just slept together once a year,
to have a child?
Yes, pretty much.
I was living a hard time.
Let me tell you
when we slept together.
When I didn't have any money at all.
If I saw that he had some money,
that he'd worked a bit,
then I would yield to him.
I said to myself
that I had really earned that money.
That was maybe the only reason
that we slept together.
Mom, Dad's here.
Go back to sleep. Don't move.
Are you asleep, Ghofrane?
You ignore me, like your mother?
Are you sleeping alone?
She hasn't let anyone in?
Stop, Dad. Are you not ashamed?
How did he pronounce it?
His accent?
He said to her:
"Your mother sleeps all dolled up..."
-"Sleeps" in which accent?
-Shall I show him, Tayssir?
-Yes, go on.
He would say to her:
"You explain to me then,
this woman, asleep like that,
half naked,
with her whole body offered up,
who is that for?
It's not for me, in any case."
A father, for me,
is the man who...
who contributes to our birth,
through sexual intercourse.
Great, thanks very much.
He would have done better
finding something else to do,
instead of conceiving me.
He would insult Mom,
he would wake us up.
He would wake up Ghofrane to hit her.
-Why her especially?
-Because she was the eldest.
She protected us.
And also, she was very close to Mom.
-It was to hurt me?
"Oh, that shitty night..."
That rotten night.
Mom was saying bad words.
Oh no, enough!
I've had enough of your swearing!
I'm an actor.
I can inspire the same feelings,
without swearing.
-What do you mean, no?
In Tunisia,
when we argue we cuss.
Especially at home.
This language is in our blood.
I'm talking to you about the film.
But it has to be realistic.
As a viewer, I would find it strange
that we tell the whole story
without a single swear word.
The only words that he said
and which left a mark on my childhood,
are cusses.
"You're all like your mother."
"A bunch of... I don't know what."
"If I catch you..."
"You will turn out bad."
That's what their father said to them.
You understand?
And I would say to them:
"You hear what your father is saying?
For him, there is no doubt
that you will end up as whores.
Don't let him be right!
Tell him that you are Olfa's daughters.
And that Olfa's daughters
are worthy of greatness."
-[muttered Arabic]
-Very well.
Look at this.
There it is!
The photo is really misleading.
-Ah, so you agree!
-Look at this wound.
-Yes, it lends to confusion.
-Thanks for confirming.
Here's the butt crack.
I had gotten surgery on my leg.
I took a photo thinking I was using
an x-ray application.
I was young.
It was nothing more than a photo.
Later on,
my mother found it on the cell phone,
and she thought
that it was something else.
-She saw a butt crack!
She asked who had taken the photo.
Rahma and Ghofrane said
that it was me and Eya
who were playing with the phone.
I said that I hadn't taken any photo.
But Eya, she doesn't know
how to stand up for herself,
so she always stays silent.
Everyone thought that it was her.
All my girls, except Eya,
could speak up for themselves.
They accused her,
and she didn't deny it.
I remember it as if it were yesterday.
I gave her two dinars,
I packed her a bag
and I put her outside in the rain.
-How old were you?
-I was young. Eight.
That is exactly how it happened.
I was crying:
"Mom, I swear, it wasn't me!"
She grabbed me by my sweater,
she pushed me,
and then she threw a red bag at me.
She flung it in my direction
and it hit me right in the head.
And then she threw
the two dinars at me.
I was begging her:
"I swear to you, it wasn't me."
You just had to say:
"It's nothing, Mom, it's just a leg."
-I'd forgotten.
-And when she showed you the photo?
When I saw the photo
I really thought it was "that" too.
-Had you forgotten as well?
-She hadn't.
No, I remembered.
But I was scared that she would hit me
for having taken a photo of a leg.
Even telling the truth scared me.
I will have to be the one
to act out this scene.
-I will hit both of them.
-Especially me.
And as an actor, my work lies
in understanding your motivation.
To really understand
what made you snap.
For you, everything that relates
to the female body
is shameful and obscene.
We have to hide our bodies
and cover them up.
In my eyes,
my daughters had ventured
into dangerous territory.
What territory do you mean?
It's their body!
Let me finish.
For me, this photo,
it rang the alarm bells.
Their minds had become impure.
Today, it's just a photo.
Tomorrow they will be stripping,
and then it will be sexual intercourse.
We were 8 years old
and you thought that.
Yes, that's what I was afraid of.
-And they were 8 years old?
When she accused us,
I was eight and she was six.
She was afraid that we would have sex.
Honestly, the idea of it.
I asked myself these questions
for all four of my girls.
You are obsessed by sin
and God gave you four daughters,
to you, so full of fear!
Can you imagine the hell?
It's a tragedy. I hate girls.
I didn't want to have any daughters.
What I understand, is that for you,
their bodies are dangerous.
There's no doubt about it.
The body, it's really
where the line is drawn.
It is the private property
of one single person.
-The husband.
But why do you think
that their bodies
are the property of a guy
that they haven't even met yet?
Even my husband
doesn't have the right to own my body.
Where does this attitude
of yours come from?
-Talking about your body like that...
-My body belongs to me alone.
The warm up.
They're going to play soccer.
They are mutants!
-Come on, do the same.
-There's no way!
God deliver us!
-We were concentrating.
-And enjoying it.
Now, we're going to have a good laugh.
We let everything out,
so we can better concentrate afterwards.
[speaking Arabic]
-What would you like to eat?
-Some nice spicy chicken.
Some nice spicy chicken?
-I will see to that. And you?
-Cannelloni? That's so nice!
-And you?
Come on, Ghofrane, play the game!
Mamma mia, it's so good!
Can you smell how spicy it is?
They played this game
when we had nothing to eat.
Ghofrane was the most difficult.
She didn't say yes to anything,
she didn't like anything.
Rahma, she loved everything.
A real peasant!
She did this role play
with empty dishes,
or with leftovers
that they didn't want.
They dreamed of tasty meals.
It kept them entertained
and they forgot.
I joined in with them.
We had a lot of fun.
It wasn't only
what they've just been playing.
Actually, it was more spontaneous,
it ended in a good laugh.
We danced, we sang.
It's among our happiest memories.
Girls, do you have
the same memories of that?
At that time, just playing this game
allowed us to feel like
we had access to the things
that we were deprived of.
All these things
that we only saw on TV.
Rahma was always behind it.
These festive moments were her doing.
Just like the dramas.
Her parties always turned into a drama.
Like on Mom's birthday.
-What do you mean?
-She had prepared
little bits of paper to throw at her.
She had put them in a candy box,
above the door.
Be easy on Rahma!
She beat her black and blue.
Poor thing, she had prepared everything.
Rahma doesn't fit her name:
I nicknamed her "the curse",
instead of "clemency".
-That's so mean!
-You see?
-Want to hear what she's called me?
-Go on!
I'll make you a list, with a tune.
There once was a...
"You bastard!"
"I wish you were a ball
being kicked about by boys!"
"I dream of seeing your blood
spilled across the sidewalk!"
"I want to watch the news
and find out you've died!"
"A tramp who wants
to go out with guys!"
"You go out and you make out!
You think I didn't know about it?"
Here comes a swear word.
"You've still got shit on your ass
and you want to get guys?"
It hurt me, but I didn't show it.
I answered her like this.
But inside, I was enraged.
If I could have... I'm sorry,
but I wanted to strangle her.
I swear, these killer lines,
they cut me deep.
This film lets me speak out.
So you want to strangle me?
After the film, she'll make me feel bad.
-Of course!
-She'll bring it up again.
I haven't finished.
I want to strangle her and say:
"I'm not like that!"
Come on, try it!
That's all you've heard,
"strangle me"!
You haven't understood
how much it hurts her?
You are selfish, Olfa.
It hurts her?
I understand, but that's how it is.
It's the legacy
of several generations, a heritage.
How long were they majorettes for?
About four years.
Or three...
Yes, it was a few years.
The weekends, vacations...
What age did they start?
They hadn't started high school.
It was in elementary school.
Eya and Tayssir hadn't...
They hadn't started school yet.
Everything changed after he fell.
-"God is one."
"And Ben Ali is unequalled!"
I don't care about Ben Ali.
I was talking about his time.
It's true that times were tough.
Of course, I'm speaking for me.
But at least, we were all together.
The revolution
didn't steal your daughters.
They were daughters of Ben Ali.
Good girls.
Ben Ali's daughters?
Yes, Ben Ali's children.
They were good girls.
Look what happened after he left!
The problem,
it's those who governed after him.
I know that. That's what I'm saying.
-Here comes the teacher.
-You are stunning.
Thank you.
And here is the boss.
We're looking at videos
from 11 years ago. Eya was this high.
Yes, I remember.
I was about as tall as my jacket.
They were this high.
Her and Tayssir.
"The Singing of Man."
Thanks to security, humans rise up
Thanks to security, humans rise up
Security makes the children happy
The young and not so young
Security makes the children happy
The young and not so young
The happiness of our mothers
And our beloved homeland
And our beloved homeland
And our beloved homeland
In the name of God,
dear people of Tunisia,
I stand before you,
before all of you,
in Tunisia and abroad...
Beat it!
That day, I was cleaning
in this lady's house.
I was all alone,
and I was thinking as I cleaned.
When I take a decision,
I talk to myself.
"I don't want this anymore.
The people who are leading
this revolution are no better than me.
I can revolutionize my life as well."
I was waiting
until my children were older.
Why? For my daughters?
They will be better off without him.
They never see him in any case.
He doesn't give them affection
or money.
He never does anything with them.
He never takes them to school.
"He has stolen your youth,
why do you put up with him?
You can have a new life."
She asked, what brought me there.
And like that, we went to stay
with my sister.
She was surprised.
I said to her: "That's it.
Tunisia has had its revolution.
Now I'm having mine."
I had only just arrived,
that same day,
when my affair with Wissem began.
Hi, Mohammed.
There's no Mohammed here.
Oh really?
Sorry, wrong number.
At that time,
cell phones were a novelty.
With my daughters, we had fun
calling numbers at random.
You've got me in trouble with my wife.
Who are you?
Your wife?
Oh, this woman.
Put her on, I will apologize.
It's fine, there is no wife.
But who are you?
He totally cast a spell on me.
He unlocked the woman,
the teenager inside me.
I became debauched,
rebellious, adolescent.
I did it all.
I did everything I wanted.
I wanted to love this man.
I wanted to experience
everything I hadn't experienced yet.
He had escaped from prison
during the revolution.
He needed a place where he could hide.
The police officers had no idea
that I existed.
Nobody could have suspected
that I was harboring a fugitive.
Do you know why he was in prison?
Yes, for a crime. He killed someone.
He told me everything.
He didn't hide anything.
I knew everything.
It didn't scare you, this crime?
Not at all.
To me he was like an angel.
I didn't find any fault in him.
For me, he was the most handsome,
the most masculine,
nicest and most adorable man.
If he had killed someone in front of me,
I would have helped him hide the body.
we shared incredible experiences,
that are unspeakable.
And for me, it was normal.
When he got out of prison,
a friend told him: "There's an old lady.
She's really old but a nympho.
Go see her, pleasure her,
and she'll give you your pocket money."
He went there,
and she gave him 50 dinars.
Some time later,
when we were flat broke,
he asked me what I thought.
"The old lady is our only solution."
I went with him to her place!
She had just died,
her casket was at the front door!
I kept my mouth shut about him,
for Mom.
I could have got my revenge on him,
so easily.
And he was a butcher
so there were lots of knives at home.
What did he take?
What? Pills?
Yes, pills, all kinds of them.
He would become weird.
People take drugs
to enjoy themselves, right?
Not him.
He couldn't even control his body...
He couldn't even speak?
He was unable to speak,
he became like this...
All shaky, with a nasty look.
His actions turned nasty,
his words too.
The first year with Wissem,
it was good.
We were young.
We weren't used to someone
being nice to us.
And he was nice.
Or that's how it seemed to us.
But then he didn't act the same
with all of us.
He was nice to one of us
and nasty to the other.
And all that in secret.
What do you mean, "in secret"?
For example,
he was kind and gentle with me.
And he was the one who bought food
for us. We didn't have much.
But he was our mother's boyfriend
and her daughters' boyfriend, let's say.
When he got bored of the mother,
he moved on to her girls.
The night with the mother
and the day with the daughters.
Are you at peace with yourself?
Do you have a clear conscience?
I never loved you.
What I loved, was the happiness
in my mother's eyes.
Nothing else.
I thought that you would be the father
that I had never had.
But you made me hate the idea
of a father.
What have Rahma
and Ghofrane done to you?
What has Tayssir done to you?
"She's my daughter, my favorite."
That's what you said, you liar.
No father should do that.
Why did you do that?
I hate you.
I will never forgive you for it.
I hate you.
Can we cut?
What's up?
There's something that's bothering me.
Can you explain?
It's not something for the cameras.
It will be a discussion
between you and me, outside.
Shall we cut, Kaouther?
Well, can we get to work?
Come on!
No, he doesn't want to.
Tell him that we need this scene.
I need the audience to see it.
So that people know
who this man really is.
I want him to help me.
He should see it as supporting me.
I've already replayed this scene
with a shrink.
I've gotten over it.
It's not new.
It's not the first time.
I've done this exercise in hospital,
surrounded by shrinks.
And much worse, even.
-This is a film now.
-I know, I'm aware of that.
Film or not,
I've moved on from this.
Don't let it bother you.
He shouldn't be scared.
I know what I'm doing.
It's just dialogue.
He's an actor, he knows that.
He just has to think that I'm acting.
Tell him that it's lines of dialogue
that I've learned.
I've already said all that.
Do you get it, Kaouther?
Don't be afraid of me!
Tell him that.
And you, Tayssir?
No, it's fine.
All good. It's just that...
I haven't been able to...
I can't hate him.
Despite everything he did to me,
I just can't.
Yes I am angry.
Yes I want him to pay for it.
But I'm not able to hate him.
It's weird.
Maybe because...
I don't hate my father either.
And to me,
Wissem was more than a father.
When I was a little girl,
I thought of him as a father.
I could never have imagined
he would do such things.
And despite everything,
I am unable to hate him.
He lied to my mother.
He made up stories to her.
That's what we want to prove
to her as well.
For a long time,
Mom said to us that Wissem
was our victim.
She said that it was our fault
that she had lost him.
We're the ones who are lost
because of him.
We're the ones who are lost.
That's the truth.
My love is renewed
My love, it multiplies
My love is renewed
My love, it multiplies
I've loved you for so long
Since when you were a child
I've loved you with all my heart
I've loved you with all my blood
I've loved you with all my heart
I've loved you with all my blood
You were the flame
and I was the butterfly
You were the earth and I was the farmer
You were the sea
and I was the drowned sailor
I always come back to you...
Stop, I can't take it!
You're there,
showing us your butterfly!
And you dare to complain!
I hadn't realized
that they had grown up,
until when I divorced their father
and I went to live in Sousse.
You would have thought
they were different girls!
They had changed.
They had grown up.
When I was little
and my breasts started growing...
I was ashamed!
Mine still haven't grown yet!
I didn't want to sleep on them.
I was scared they would sink in.
That they'd go back in,
and it would leave holes.
Rahma and a cousin put two glasses
around my breasts.
It stopped them growing more!
I was 11 years old.
My sisters made fun of me,
instead of being supportive.
-They made fun of me.
-Because of your periods?
Yes, because I put the towel
the wrong way round, sticky side up!
And the cotton underneath.
When I pulled it off...
-I can't even begin to tell you!
-That must have been so painful.
I didn't know! I pulled it off.
My pubic hair made this sound...
Eya, there's a man here!
So what? He's doing his job!
And anyway, he's filming you.
Kaouther, I have to tell you
about when I discovered the...
Olfa, no! No hitting!
Get off me!
What's that?!
My poor butterfly.
I am sexy, I've been told
Okay, Mom?
What a bunch of whores!
You little slut!
We didn't do anything!
Nothing at all, I swear to you!
Get off him, Mom!
Just you wait, you. You'll see!
She had a private journal
and she wrote down everything in it.
Tayssir came to show it to me.
She was very close to Rahma.
I read it and found out
that she was talking about a boy, Onssi.
"Your skin is a soft as a baby's,
your eyes as blue as the summer sky.
You were the first to kiss me.
Your kiss awakened things
inside me..."
The word "kiss" sent me crazy!
-Where's the harm in all that?
-She said that a boy had kissed her!
But come on, all girls do that!
I don't care. I don't want that.
You never did that?
No. And even when I was married
the asshole didn't kiss me.
I wouldn't have gone and remarried
if he had kissed me.
Her high school told me:
"Rahma is skipping class.
We have sent you a notification."
What do you mean skipping class?
That is when the supervisors
explained to me
that she had become a goth.
That she came in wearing black makeup,
that she was hitting the other students.
That she was doing things,
weird rituals,
things that were shocking.
I don't even want to say
what they were.
But they said that she was
a worshiper of Satan.
A Satanist. I don't like that word.
Sorry, Mom!
You have brought Satan into my house!
The devil!
-In my home!
-It is already full of devils.
In the name of God!
What's up with her, Mom?
In the name of God!
God protect us.
God protect us.
"In the name of Allah"
All praise is due to Allah,
Lord of the worlds -
The Entirely Merciful,
the Especially Merciful,
Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.
It is You we worship
and You we ask for help.
When Mom was working in Libya,
Ghofrane took advantage of it.
She dated a guy with a motorcycle.
But she couldn't get on the motorcycle
with long hairs like that.
So she went to have her legs waxed.
After that, she disowned us.
She said that she was an only child,
that her mother was working in Dubai,
that she had a mansion someplace,
with a swimming pool...
Basically, she had everything.
The neighbor who looked after us,
she had become Mom's snitch.
-The supervisor.
-The supervisor, yes.
She said that she was the maid.
The nerve!
One day, this lady called Mom.
"Come back,
your daughter is out of control."
She took the first bus.
We didn't think we were doing
any wrong.
We thought that her hair looked nice.
We wanted ours to be the same.
Girls, Mom's here.
Get out. You, stay.
You, stay here.
My daughter.
Your hair...
Is it new?
Hang on... You've waxed?
-You've waxed, Ghofrane?
-Sorry, Mom.
-You've waxed?
-Sorry, Mom.
You've waxed your legs, Ghofrane?
What else have you waxed?
Answer me.
You've become a woman?
While I'm working in Libya,
you're slacking off?
What? Just show me, show me.
You think that you're a woman now?
I'm sorry, Mom.
Show me.
Show me what you've waxed.
May God forgive me.
I didn't give her a chance,
I didn't let her defend herself.
She'd had her hair cut into a bob.
I ripped out a clump of hair like that.
In my hand.
I totally destroyed her.
When she hits you,
it's not just a couple of slaps.
She enjoys it.
She takes the gas hose,
she doubles it in half,
and she hits and hits.
We heard a whistling sound
from the force of the movement.
She was crying, begging me.
The neighbor came to her defense.
I hit him too and I threw him out.
After the pipe,
I took the broom handle.
It ended up in pieces!
When she stopped moving,
I thought that she was dead.
And I stopped.
My sisters, I know that among you,
there are those
who don't wear the hijab
and don't pray.
Some want to repent
but they don't dare to come to us.
We will deliver the hijab to your homes!
In our eyes,
you are the wonderful mother,
the virtuous mother,
the tender breast,
the vast sea, self-sacrifice.
You are also the precious wife
whom we protect.
[inaudible Arabic]
It was an ordinary morning.
We heard that there was an event.
We went to the square
where we found a tent with preachers.
They said that they were going
to give out hijabs.
The women of the neighborhood
wanted to take them
and sell them on to make some money.
One of the girls in the neighborhood,
called Nessrine,
told Ghofrane to go and help herself.
So she went to take a hijab.
When she got to the square,
a sheikh put the hijab on her,
and began shouting: "She is the moon!",
because my sister is beautiful.
When she came back home,
we all made fun of her.
We told her to go and sell it
before it became used,
otherwise people
would refuse to buy it.
But she didn't want to take it off.
When Ghofrane began to wear the veil,
we really gave her a hard time.
What does that mean?
Rahma called her a bat.
"Batman! You look ridiculous!"
"Look at you, your hair, your beauty...
You're wasting it.
Who will the boys
from the neighborhood date?"
Look at that, a walking black soap!
I'm stuck with looking
at that every day?
What's with her,
and you like this, Mom?
Mom, talk to her.
Leave your sister alone.
I'm ashamed! You like it?
Yes, I like it.
And you should do the same.
Mom, respect is a mentality.
It's a way of behaving.
We are people living here
[layered Arabic]
Are you okay?
It's understandable.
I can't even bring myself
to look at her.
How old were you when Ghofrane
started wearing the niqab?
I was eight years old.
And when she left, I was eleven.
And what were you like
when you were eight?
I was horrible!
In what way?
I was really ugly!
I was really ugly.
I'm okay.
-We can carry on, Kaouther.
-Great, let's do it.
It began to spread
throughout the neighborhood.
There were a lot more veiled women.
Two weeks later,
Rahma went out grocery shopping.
She was wearing a T-shirt
with an image of the antichrist on it.
She often wore that T-shirt.
That day, she came home
in a real state, in tears,
and she asked Ghofrane
to buy her a hijab.
We insisted that she tell us
what had happened.
A certain Mr. Mustapha,
along with some other men,
had blocked her path
and spoken about the antichrist to her.
And they had mentioned
the punishments of the grave.
That's what had scared her the most,
the punishments of the grave.
So she began to wear the hijab as well,
but she became much more radical
than Ghofrane.
-Do you find me sexy?
-To die for!
Drop dead sexy.
Where are her eyes?
Bring that down a bit.
There they are!
Yes. Fix it, here.
Do you know what shocks me?
There wasn't any of that
before the revolution.
No niqab, no hijab.
If someone wanted to wear the hijab
they would wear it at home.
If not, the police would take you away.
And they would hit you
with their batons.
Under Ben Ali, before the revolution,
you weren't even allowed
to wear a headscarf.
Those women who wore it
were arrested by the police.
They wanted to impose an ideal
of the Tunisian woman.
How she should be,
what she is allowed to do or not.
So much so, that back then,
wearing a headscarf
was an act of resistance,
a way of opposing the established order.
Because the hijab was banned
before the revolution,
it became a kind of symbol
of rebellion.
We are always drawn toward
the forbidden, actually.
"What do you mean, no hijab?
I'm going to rebel and wear it then."
And during the revolution,
my mother, my family,
and even me, as just a young girl,
we said:
"Ok, let's vote for those who love God
and wear the hijab again.
They are closer to God.
They will better solve our problems."
They want to mold women
as they want them to be.
Map out our lives for us,
and shape women
in the way that they see them.
No more, no less.
Not let us do what we want to do.
Like dolls that they manipulate
as they please.
That they would dress as they like.
With no rights.
For example, a girl like you
who has beautiful eyes,
she wears it to one side
and it becomes alluring.
Isn't that sinful?
Yes, but I'm speaking of those
who wear it for aesthetic reasons.
And so Rahma...
Go, go.
She pulls that down too.
Yes, like this.
-She pulls it down like that.
-Really? A blackboard.
So that you don't see
the outline of her shoulders.
A solid block. Nothing stands out.
You shouldn't be able
to make out any shape?
Nothing. Not a hand, nor a foot.
And when you walk, you have to march.
Like that.
I have to march too?
Like that, with your head down,
taking long strides.
Whereas for Ghofrane,
you walk like this.
You don't even hear her footsteps.
And at the same time, my dear Ghofrane,
you have to do this with your eyes.
-The beautiful eyes.
Show us those pretty eyes, Ghofrane.
But then, why wear the niqab?
For appearance's sake. It's a look.
It was the fashion, at that time.
Now, it's ripped jeans.
Back then, it was the niqab.
And once you are with the sisters,
time to pull the niqab up!
We look at each other, as you do.
Everything's fine.
Go on, Ghofrane, lift yours up.
Go on.
I'd ask her to cover it.
My God!
Their reaction.
"My God! So beautiful!"
-Sister, you are so beautiful!
-God is great!
So beautiful that in the end,
they pulled her niqab back down.
The sisters were afraid
that their husbands would see her.
-And that they would want to marry her?
-They can have four wives.
They do a whole ritual
for a girl who wears the niqab.
-Especially if she is impious.
-In what sense?
A whore.
No, I wouldn't go that far.
The way you saw me just now.
A woman who doesn't pray,
who doesn't follow
the religious commandments.
We throw her a little party.
-How do you mean?
-Like a graduation ceremony.
We dress her up
and we sing a song for her.
-Which one?
-I'll sing it for you.
Sing along with me.
This was a strange saying.
Oh my sister,
don't let Satan corrupt you
The hijab is a divine command
Oh my sister,
their words were foolish
They said that we were
as dark as the night
They laughed at the hijab
I adored Rahma.
She was my role model.
I tried to copy everything she did.
I was very close to her
and I really admired her.
When she began to wear the hijab,
I wore it too.
Eya didn't want to, at the start.
When Eya turned up
and Rahma and I were eating lunch,
we would push her away
and call her an infidel,
and she would start to cry.
It was the same
when she wanted to play with us.
We turned her away
because she wasn't wearing a hijab,
and each time, she would cry.
We got our way in the end.
We defeated her.
She ended up wearing a hijab,
just to live with us.
We really gave her a hard time.
When she finally wore the hijab,
we became a family of veiled women.
Like a small branch of Daesh at home.
We salute the Islamic State,
our State
Our State will triumph
And by the mightiest
Sharia Law will triumph
-What is this song?
-It's for sharia law.
We salute Baghdadi
The cops will turn up.
Olfa, where did you learn these songs?
-With the girls.
-You sang with them?
Of course.
I did everything with them.
At the start, I was really happy
that they were wearing the hijab.
It didn't bother me at the beginning.
And then they grew ashamed of me.
Wearing pants
while they were all covered up.
Are you not ashamed?
Life comes to an end, you know.
We will all end up above, up there.
What will you say in front of God?
I'm not naked!
I wear a headscarf.
The headscarf isn't enough.
God said to cover the face.
And how can I work, dressed like that?
Are you working for your life
or for eternity?
Do you want to burn in Hell?
You don't even work!
You spend your days going
from one mosque to another.
At least I'm helping people, Mom.
Start by helping your sisters
and your mother.
No. My heart is purer than yours.
-What do you know about my heart?
-I can see it in your face.
-Such a vicious tongue!
-Rahma has struck!
I am trying to warn you
so that God spares you
at the final judgement.
So that you don't burn
and fry in Hell.
I know where I will end up.
In the garden of Eden, up there,
with the houris.
Okay, and if I wear this outfit,
who will feed you?
Don't you worry about that.
-I can't work like that!
-You're finding excuses, Olfa.
It's your funeral.
We'll see what God has in store for you.
You wear it if you want
but don't bug me about it.
People will laugh at you.
They will say: "The girls wear it,
but look at their mother!"
They will call you a loose woman.
But will you listen to this bitch!
Imagine, you go out
and a car runs you over.
It hits you and you die, right?
I'm not wishing that upon you,
but what will God do?
You scare me.
Don't listen to her.
What shall you
bring her to wear?
You'll end up
in the lower depths of hell.
My girl, you really scare me.
-I will wear it.
-Help! She's really in character!
Did you really answer her like that?
-She's being serious there.
-Yes, totally.
She's a great actor.
You scared me.
I have goosebumps.
That was how it happened, with Rahma.
She convinced me through fear.
And I wore it for a long time.
They found the only way
to dominate you.
With religion, with God.
They reversed the balance of power.
And also, it was you who started
with the prohibitions.
-So, they...
-Let me answer you.
That's right. I taught them to aim
and they shot me.
I taught them to be strong,
and they defeated me.
They were able to influence me.
This outfit, I don't like it.
I am only wearing it
to reenact this scene.
I don't even want to see myself
in the mirror.
But when my daughter dresses like this,
it makes me proud.
I don't like how Eya is dressed.
I would be really happy
if Eya would wear it.
You don't even want to look
at yourself in the mirror,
and you would like me to wear it
to make you happy?
I'm scared for you all.
If they had wanted to go out
less covered up
or if they had stayed
in the goth craze,
as well as going out with guys,
would you have let them?
So for them,
the only way to be free,
was to go down this path.
I love you.
You love me? Right?
You will get what you deserve.
We are friends.
I am your beloved sister.
Love doesn't come into this.
You've already hit me twice.
Two times.
Show me your back.
Show me your back!
-Damn it!
-Are you playing with God?
What God?
God forgives, not you.
Shut up, Tayssir.
God is merciful, dammit.
-4, 5, 6...
-Rahma, shit!
When we forgot or we were late to pray,
Rahma would whip us.
According to how major the sin was.
I've forgotten the rules
but it could go up to 50 lashes.
She meant business.
The blows were hard.
And when Rahma committed a sin,
she would self-flagellate like this.
She'd throw stones at her till she dies.
I remember,
one of Mom's friends got pregnant,
but outside of marriage.
Rahma decided to wait for her
to give birth and then apply sharia law.
The punishment? Stoning.
How did you plan on doing that?
The woman
would have fought back, right?
We didn't do it.
It was Rahma's imaginary plan.
In a public place. She wanted
to tie her to a pole or a tree.
-So she was imagining the whole scene.
-Of course.
She would tell her to her face:
"Once you give birth, you'll be stoned."
She couldn't really do it.
She made it all up.
There are laws in this country.
She would have been put in prison.
It was above all to let us know
how bad it was.
If we had lived in a State
governed by sharia law,
the woman would have been stoned.
If there weren't these laws,
it would be crazy.
It would be the end.
Rahma would order you about with slaps.
We wouldn't be shooting a film!
Thanks to God!
-Eya is like my younger version.
-They look like each other.
She looks like you in the photo.
Yes, Eya reminds me of my youth.
She's my exact copy.
-My mouth!
You got some on her.
-I saw you Mom.
You slipped the headscarf off.
-Did you see it? Her scarf was there...
-Shush, you!
-She's faking it.
-I swear, it slipped down by itself.
It's fine, leave it.
A photo without the headscarf, please.
Leave it this way.
-Put it over your shoulders.
That's what you wanted!
I look good like this!
Listen to me.
You're wearing a mic.
The sound girls will go crazy.
You can't touch it.
Leave the headscarf like that.
Like a Chanel scarf.
Let's say I'm your real mother.
Would you accept me as your mother?
-As Ghofrane, you mean?
-No, your real mother, yours.
She would be obliged to.
Would you be satisfied with me
as your mother, with the way that I am?
Did you choose your mother?
Have any of us chosen their mother?
If you had the choice...
We don't choose, but would you choose
the same mother and father?
There you go.
With Rahma,
we would often watch videos together.
One day, she came across a video
on YouTube.
It was a man who wanted
to spend a whole night buried alive.
He was buried with an oxygen tank.
He wanted to spend the whole night
inside the grave.
When he came out the next day,
he was in tears.
He was afraid of God.
He was crying,
and Rahma was crying harder.
And I was like:
"Hang on, I am supposed to cry at that?"
She wanted to try it.
To go inside a grave.
She loved the idea, she researched it.
She became obsessed with it.
She wanted to try even if it meant dying.
Some people dream
of going to the Maldives.
My sister, she dreamed
of spending a night in a grave.
Boom, boom, boom.
The truth will be revealed.
She is in the madhouse,
and God forgives everything.
I am the martyr.
I am the gravedigger. So lucky.
I am the Angel of Torture.
I am the Angel of Torment.
let's bury her.
I'll catch up with you.
-Did you have fun playing that game?
-We had a ball.
It was like going to Disneyland.
What did you like about it?
Everything! It's fun.
Look, she's dead and we bury her!
Rahma invented this game to tell us
that life is worthless.
When we die,
all we take with us is a shroud.
Only our actions count.
Some cotton in both her nostrils.
And in her ears.
-And the holes down below, right?
We block up all the holes.
-Hang on...
You don't know how to play dead?
It's the first time that I've died.
[speaking Arabic]
May God grant you His infinite mercy.
Forgive me if I have wronged you.
Rest in peace.
You can kiss your sister.
Allahu Akbar!
A lot of girls wear the hijab
because they fear being tortured
in the grave.
It's the most terrifying
and horrendous thing,
so it's the most persuasive argument.
For example, an adulterous woman,
her vagina catches fire
in the grave.
It burns!
She is cooked, she burns,
everything you can think of.
Make her wear a dress of fire!
Make her wear shoes of fire!
God, have mercy on me!
I would have liked to be a stone,
not a human.
God, have mercy. I didn't know
the day of judgment would arrive.
Forgive me, I didn't know.
Too late for that.
This incident happened
when Mom was in Libya.
We were at my aunt's house.
The neighbor's son recited the Koran.
He had a beautiful voice.
We went to see them during Ramadan.
The son began to recite the Koran.
I saw Ghofrane at the bedroom door.
She was tiptoeing,
as if she was being strangled
and dragged along by force.
She came near to me and she fainted.
Lord, protect us from evil.
Get off me!
I seek refuge in the perfect
words of Allah from the Evil.
Rahma went to the mosque
to find out information on exorcisms.
And to avoid her veil coming off
in front of a male exorcist,
we found a female exorcist.
In the Name of Allah
with Whose name
nothing on earth or
in heaven can harm.
Come out of this body!
May you be cursed by God!
Who are you? Come out!
Come out, enemy of God!
No one can be harmed in His presence,
the name of the Lord protects you.
There is no power and no strength
save in Allah.
Is this all for real, Ghofrane?
Men aren't enough for you,
you need Djinns too?
Tell me!
Don't be rough, he can get violent.
Shut up, you.
As soon as you go to Libya,
it's a disaster.
I am working like a horse there,
and you, you bring me a Djinn.
-It haunted her.
-She was haunted.
[speaking Arabic]
I will go back to Libya.
I will return there.
And I will take the girls with me.
We will all work there.
We will earn some money
and then we will come back.
There is no shame
in being a cleaning lady.
You have to make an honest living.
Yes, I turned my girls
into cleaning ladies.
Without any qualifications,
it's the only thing they could do.
That was the only work available
in Libya.
Besides, I spent my time
running around to help them
where they were working, with Eya.
I never left them
to do exhausting jobs on their own.
I don't think
that I treated them unfairly.
One day, Ghofrane came to see me.
She said to me: "Don't bother
coming to help me tomorrow,
I won't have much cleaning to do."
I replied: "Okay."
She gave me a lot of kisses that day.
I asked her:
"What are all these kisses for?"
She was often very affectionate,
but there, it was over the top.
I told her:
"Stop, you'd think I were about to die."
She replied: "I love you, Mom."
And she left.
-Where is your sister?
-I don't know.
-Where is your sister?
-In my pocket. Can't you see her?
Are you laughing at me?
You're being a smartass?
-Where did your sister go?
-She is in Sabratha.
-To do what?
-She has joined the brothers.
What brothers?
Bring her back,
we're going home to Tunisia.
Bring your sister back.
We're going home to Tunisia.
She won't come back
and I'm joining her.
Bring her back, I'm telling you
we're going back home.
-I won't hit you again.
I begged her, I pulled my hair out,
I tried everything, in vain.
She had a piece of paper with a number
on it to contact her sister,
but she swallowed it.
It was the only way to find her.
If she had given me that number,
I could have called Ghofrane
to dissuade her.
I would have easily convinced her.
She was very strong-willed,
you can't imagine how strong.
She was the incarnation of evil.
She didn't shed one tear.
She was happy, in fact.
She was proud that her sister had left.
She was...
She wouldn't yield.
It's hard to describe.
She had taken away my little girl.
Everything became dark,
after Ghofrane left.
I hated Rahma, that day.
When she left too,
it didn't bother me at all.
Ghofrane didn't see
how sad I was after she left,
but Rahma, she saw my distress.
That's enough.
Do me a favor, arrest her.
She is going to join her sister.
I have all the information.
She's planned it all
with a people smuggler.
He is going to give her money
and take her there.
She wants to take her little sisters,
who are eight and ten, with her.
-How old are you?
-15 years old.
Do you think you are a jihadist?
Do you?
I've never claimed to be one.
I work for the Tunisian State.
-Are you proud? What State?
-I am very proud.
-We are the State.
-What State are you talking about?
She has pledged allegiance
to their State of Daesh.
Their so-called State.
The Islamic State, please!
The Islamic State.
That is my State.
It is the State for all of us.
You should study
and think about your future.
-I am thinking about everyone's future.
-Everyone's future?
You want us to chop off hands?
Yes, chop off hands, heads, feet.
It doesn't matter,
as long as we are applying God's law.
What ambition!
You are a lost sheep, wake up.
If I were you, I would take off
that uniform.
A defiled uniform.
So I can wear the niqab like you?
Are you female?
You will see.
-I will crush you.
-Lower your hand.
Lower my hand?
You don't have the right to touch me.
-Get your hand off.
-Shut your mouth when I'm talking.
Shut up and look at the floor.
-Get your hand off!
-Look at the ground! Shut it!
Are you happy now?
I'll throw you into solitary.
Little shit. Sit down!
Sit down.
I will show you how much of a man I am.
-Get out, while I speak to your mom.
-Get out!
Get out, I said!
You want the truth?
There's nothing I can do.
-What do you mean?
-I can't do anything.
This is a joke!
-What did you expect?
-Apply the law.
I am actually applying the law.
I have to follow procedure.
I call the prosecutor
and he decides if we detain her.
If she comes back to blow up
this police station, what do we do?
Even if she comes back,
there's nothing I can do.
Have you informed the prosecutor
what she is saying?
Of course, he knows everything.
They are everywhere, with their flags.
They preach through loudspeakers.
The prosecutor sees them.
Let them burn down the country then.
Nothing can be done.
On September 10, 2015
the Ministry of Home Affairs published
the photos of wanted terrorists,
two of whom are sisters,
Rahma and Ghofrane Chikhaoui.
Rahma left Tunisia
with a false passport,
headed to Libya.
When she arrived there,
she married the emir of Daesh
in Sabratha.
Noureddine Chouchane,
the man behind the terrorist attacks
which have recently rocked Tunisia.
They are the ones responsible,
they laid the foundations.
We've had nothing but problems
since this damned revolution!
The former minister of Home Affairs,
he allowed all this to happen.
He allowed the imams to preach
and to indoctrinate my daughters,
because they were doing it
in public spaces!
This mother fears that her daughters,
Eya and Tayssir,
will join their sisters
among the ranks of Daesh.
They told us that a secular education
isn't good.
She showed me on Facebook
how they trained children.
And she made us listen
to songs about the jihad.
At the time, after my sisters left,
my mother went on television
and there was a lot of media attention.
The Child Protection Officer
called my mother
to tell her that Eya and I
were in danger.
Our sisters were likely to kidnap us,
and we had to be protected.
He placed us in a juvenile center.
-What's up?
[mumbling in Arabic]
We arrived at the center by car.
It was night time
and we couldn't see a thing.
We went through a big gate
and I saw a bearded man
wearing a qamis,
as well as a veiled woman
wearing a hijab.
I thought that the driver
had kidnapped us
to deliver us to Daesh,
with Rahma and Ghofrane.
I was scared to death.
I grabbed Tayssir's hand to escape
as soon as he opened the door.
Because you think
that I would have followed you?
Back then, the only thing I wanted,
was to join Rahma and Ghofrane.
I would have been so happy
to be with them.
That's all I wanted, at that time.
The first night, it was hard.
Yes, it was so tough,
that first night when you go to sleep
far away from home,
surrounded by strangers,
in an unfamiliar place.
And you don't even know
why you are there.
I had a dream that night.
My mother was very old,
and people were hitting her.
Eya woke me up
because I was crying and screaming.
The next day, after lunch,
I was still sobbing.
They took me to see the psychologist,
and I was still screaming and crying.
I spent half the day screaming,
Imagine the state that this nightmare
had put me into.
It was when I saw my mother
like that in the dream,
that I began to change a bit.
Because in my dream,
she ended up old and abandoned
because of Rahma and Ghofrane.
Just thinking about it again,
it gives me the chills.
I see her again being trampled on
by everyone.
That night was horrific.
And it was that night
that I began to change,
after seeing my mother like that.
When we first arrived at the center,
we had a very pretty teacher.
God, she was so beautiful!
As soon as she moved,
Tayssir would tell her:
"God doesn't like that."
She kept her cool
and then she exploded:
"Enough of your God,
let me work!"
Tayssir spent her time
lecturing her: "God said..."
I thought that I was God's chosen one.
God's little protg.
God doesn't accept disrespect.
"God doesn't accept..."
Get her out, she's starting again!
It's true, actually.
Back then,
I was using God as a pretext
to defend myself.
And when I "abandoned God",
as they call it...
I found another trick.
It turned into the Law.
We went from God to the Law.
And Eya supported me in that.
We pushed ourselves
and we made the place our own.
It became our center.
It was good, honestly,
despite its faults.
For me,
the center was one
of the best experiences of my life.
Because before I went to the center,
I was going down another path.
They changed my life.
Imagine if I hadn't gone
to the center...
This film would be
about all of us disappearing.
The two sisters were in Daesh in Libya
and wanted to go to Syria.
The American attack on Sabratha
put an end to their plan.
Rahma had texted her mother
to inform her of the situation
in Sabratha.
Our camera was the first
to find Rahma and Ghofrane
in Mitiga prison in Tripoli.
We approached the unit
who arrested Rahma and Ghofrane
after the Sabratha attack.
My daughter is five months old.
She is still in Sabratha.
They haven't brought her to me.
Her name is Fatma.
-How old is she?
-Five months.
It's been two days now
since I last saw her.
Show me the photos.
What is she like?
She's so little.
[speaking Arabic]
-Would you recognize your daughter?
My baby!
Don't cry, my little girl.
She is afraid for her babies.
You know, Kaouther, I am like her.
They say that a cat...
No, don't scratch me.
Is so afraid for her babies
that she eats them.
I was so afraid for them
that I was unable to protect them.
I didn't eat them, but I lost them.
I've told the whole story in this film,
to totally put the past behind me.
Because it is a very painful past.
A past that has shaped my life
and that of my daughters.
But I'm even more afraid
of the future.
-It scares me more than the past.
You're not fed up of being scared?
In all honesty, what scares me,
is that I repeated
everything that my mother did to me.
Almost to the letter.
Why do you think that is?
It's a curse.
That's how I explain it
to my daughters.
Like she said to you,
she put us through
everything she went through.
It's not because she's a bad person,
that's just the way things are.
She made us go through the same thing.
We always pass on the education
that we receive from our mothers
to our daughters,
and so on.
Until a generation comes along
that breaks the chain.
You have to understand
that they are that generation.
The only one who can come out of this,
is Tayssir.
Eya too, in part.
But for Ghofrane and Rahma,
it is too late.
Ghofrane's daughter,
she will hold her to account.
She will never leave her in peace.
Her daughter doesn't know outdoors,
she doesn't know sunshine.
The curse will continue.
Jdaida Prison, Libya
There are so many things
I want to say to them.
I can't see myself loving anyone
with a love as strong
as the one that I had for Rahma.
She wasn't just my sister,
she was my whole world.
Maybe I even loved her more
than I loved my parents.
I really did love her.
It's true that I was young
when she left me.
But despite what I've been through,
the most beautiful period of my life
is that which I spent with Rahma.
I would like to tell her:
"I love you so much,
I will never forget you."
I can't even say their name out loud,
it's just too painful.
I cry in silence,
rather than saying to myself:
"Rahma, Ghofrane, I miss you."
Sometimes, I'm so mad at them.
One day, they called from the prison
and Tayssir cried.
That annoyed me:
"Why are you crying?
They're the ones who left,
it's their problem.
Do you want them to come back
and ruin our lives?"
I regretted those words so much.
I can't even begin to tell you
how I felt that night.
You can't imagine
how mad I was at myself.
It was like I was crazy.
I spent the night pulling my hair out.
In the morning,
I hid myself
to throw away the hair I'd pulled out.
Handfuls of it,
that I secretly threw in the trash.
Because I'd said bad things
about them.
It was selfish to say
that they should never return.
I know that Ghofrane has a daughter.
I don't know what she is like.
I just want to say to them:
"This family that has destroyed you,
I won't let it destroy me."
Fatma has been raised in prison in Libya.
She is now 8 years old.
In January 2023, Libya sentenced Rahma
and Ghofrane to 16 years in prison.
Olfa, Eya and Tayssir are still hopeful
that Tunisia will repatriate them.