In 2014, 276 Nigerian school girls were kidnaped from a school in Chibok, Northern Nigeria and hidden in the vast Sambisa forest for three years, by Boko Haram, a violent Islamic insurgent movement and this past May marked the first anniversary of the release of 82 of the kidnapped schoolgirls.
Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram is an HBO documentary of the freed female hostages of Boko Haram, detailing their lives in captivity and since their release, revealing how the girls are adapting to life after their traumatic experiences.
The synopsis from HBO’s press release adds:
Following a global social media campaign with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, featuring global celebrities such as Michelle Obama, huge pressure was brought to bear on the Nigerian Government to get the girls back. Three years later, 103 had been freed and a handful had escaped. Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram chronicles the young women’s experiences following their return, including reunions with family members they had not seen since being kidnapped, as well as the process of coming to terms with what happened to them.
The filmmakers were granted access to the freed girls, who were taken to a secret government safe house in Abuja upon their release as per required, where contact with the outside world is severely limited. They have been receiving education and counseling, though they are discouraged from talking about their time in the forest.
Despite that, some girls in the film reflect upon their experiences as they learn to adjust to life on the outside. You’ll meet Margret Yama and Hannatu Stephens, two girls from the group of 82 that was released in May 2017, as they reunite with family and friends. They eventually transition to a residential, government-funded program at the American University of Nigeria in Yola.
Watch the trailer here: