Cert: 15 Year: 2019 Length: 108 mins Language: French/Arabic
Cinema Handout (PDF 131KB)
Score: 83.59% Attendance: 52
Where 'The Perfect Candidate' gave us a fairly lightweight view of the problems of life for a woman in Saudi Arabia, 'Papicha' takes a much hard-hitting look at Algeria in the 1990s, when the Islamic revolution forced women in hijabs. Basing the film on her own experiences, Mounia Madour places Nedjma, nicknamed Papicha – Algerian slang for 'cool girl' – at the centre of the whirlpool: she wants to be a fashion designer and, refusing to accept the changes that are happening, she decides to put on a fashion show in the university.
"What Papicha so brilliantly captures is the instability of women's experiences. Rather than being relentlessly brutal, the film's structure better captures the ups and downs of the characters' lives. There are periods of fun that intercut the more challenging moments...It's the greatest asset of 'Papicha' that it condemns without being dogmatic, showing its central conflict to be more complicated than Western audiences might otherwise believe" - Lillian Crawford, Little White Lies.
"Meddour makes great cinematic choices, particularly the use of clothing design to specify the profound effect that the struggle between liberal and fundamentalist forces within Islam has on women. Women were killed during the civil war for not covering up, and it is quite possible that they could be again" – Amy Taubin, Film Comment.
One to make you think as well as enjoy.
This is seriously powerful filmmaking.
Lillian Crawford, Little White Lies
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
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