Kaouther Ben Hania’s heartbreaking Tunisian documentary Four Daughters has taken the top prize of best international film at the 2023 Munich International Film Festival.
The film tells the story of Olfa Hamrouni, a Tunisian mother whose two eldest daughters left the country to join the Islamic State in Libya, never to be seen again. In her exploration of Hamrouni’s story, Ben Hania hires two actors to play Olfa’s missing daughters. The docu-drama hybrid premiered in Cannes, where it won the Golden Eye for best documentary (shared with Asmae El Moudir’s The Mother of All Lies).
Another hybrid feature from Cannes, The Buriti Flower, took Munich’s CineVision Award for best international emerging director for helmers João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora. The film, made in close collaboration with the Krahô people of Brazil, is a fusion of ethnography and poetic narrative, exploring the group’s tribal memories.
Omen, the feature debut of Belgian-Congolese rapper-turned-director Baloji, another Cannes entry, took Munich’s CineRebels Award, with Agniia Galdanova’s documentary Queendom, about avant-guard Russian artist Marvin, taking a special mention.
The international film critics’ Fipresci prize went to Henning Beckhoff’s Fossil, a German drama about an aging coal miner and his environmentalist daughter.
The festival’s audience award, voted on by some 58,000 visitors to the Munich festival, went to Aki Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves. The first film in six years from the Finnish master also premiered in Cannes, where it won the festival’s jury prize.
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