Rent Papicha (2019)

3.6 of 5 from 46 ratings
1h 45min
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Underground discos thud to the beat of dance music as men and women dress to the nines and slip through checkpoints to party the night away. Meanwhile, fingers on triggers, tensions mount between armed police forces and anti-government guerillas. This is Algiers in the 1990's, and what headstrong fashion student Nedjma, Papicha (Lyna Khoudri) to her friends, doesn't know, is that her life is about to change forever...Lifting the lid on the radical events of the Algerian Civil War, Mounia Meddour's Papicha follows the trials and tribulations of a group of determined young women as they come face to face with a new, dangerous reality.
'Papicha' is an Algerian word that refers to a funny, attractive, liberated young woman.
, Shirine Boutella, Amira Hilda Douaouda, , Zahra Manel Doumandji, Marwan Zeghbib, Aida Ghechoud, Meriem Medjkrane, Samir El Hakim, Amine Mentseur, Khaled Benaïssa, Abderrahmane Boudia, Malek Ghellamat, Lina Boudraa, Slimane Bourdous, , Fatma Belhamici, Nouara Hebboul, Katia Brihmat, Nacha Khiati
Mounia Meddour
Patrick André, Xavier Gens, Gregoire Gensollen, Belkacem Hadjadj, Mounia Meddour
Fadette Drouard, Mounia Meddour
Peccadillo Pictures
Drama, New Releases
Release Date:
Run Time:
105 minutes
Arabic, French
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
  • Making 'Papicha' - Interview with the Director
  • Making 'Papicha' - Interview with the Actors
  • UK Theatrical Trailer

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Reviews (1) of Papicha

Anger in Algiers - Papicha review by PD

Spoiler Alert

A not-too subtle anger runs through the feature debut of Algerian director Mounia Meddour, which centers around Nedjma, a student in an Algiers girls’ university hall of residence in the 1990s, who is determined to put on a fashion show as an act of defiance against the rising Islamist tide: female self-expression being denied both by enemies and so-called friends.

Lyna Khoudriv delivers a fine, fiery performance as Nedjma, and a clever strand is the inventive, pointed way in which clothes and textiles are used as metaphors both for female constraints and female defiance - the sight of Nedjma with pins sticking out of her mouth, transforming a ’haik’ (the traditional Maghrebi women’s robe) into a seductive ball dress, is a particularly telling image. There’s plenty of warmth and good humour alongside the darker notes, but what the film power lies mostly in revealing Nedjma's fury at the way a country she loves is being hijacked by bigots.

There's some rather awkward plot twists, and the last section is all a bit forced and melodramatic, but overall an intriguing, powerful piece of filmaking.

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