Papicha

Papicha

Directed by Mounia Meddour
Algeria, France | 2019 | Narrative
105 minutes | Arabic & French
Available Nov. 5-22
Available Worldwide

In 1997Algiers, when the country falls into the hands of terrorist groups seeking to establish an Islamic and archaic state, women are particularly affected — oppressed by primitive diktats that seek to take control of their bodies and limit their passage through the public space. Nedjma (Lyna Khoudri, a star of Wes Anderson’s upcoming “The French Dispatch”), an 18-year-old student passionate about fashion design, refuses to let the tragic events of the Algerian Civil War keep her from experiencing a normal life and going out at night with her friends. As the social climate becomes more conservative, she rejects the new bans set by the radicals and decides to fight for her freedom and independence by putting on a live fashion show. RogerEbert.com writes: “Brisk, confident, and atmospheric, Mounia Meddour’s feature debut ‘Papicha’ promptly brings to mind certain female driven films of the 21st century, centered on young women’s camaraderie, resistance and unique struggles — movies like Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s moody ‘Mustang,’ Margaret Betts’ somber ‘Novitiate,’ Peter Mullan’s devastating ‘The Magdalene Sisters’ and even Talya Lavie’s darkly comedic ‘Zero Motivation.’ While set in different eras and dissimilar in tone, all these deeply feminist films share a language in speaking to the challenges (and in some cases, violence) teenaged and twenty-something women face in their respective cultures, guided by strict cultural or religious codes.”