Papicha, dreams of freedom (2019), by Mounia Meddour – Review

If a greater awareness of respect for women's freedom emerges from this film, fine. But what is clear is that Papicha it does not fill the soul of the movie buff who writes to them.

A previous comment: we are witnessing an explosion of films that deal with female heroism, especially when women live in unfavorable social environments. Like, for example, countries where religious dogma is against them. Therefore, as I understand it, these films seem to target, in addition to moviegoers and moviegoers around the world, a type of audience located in these religious contexts. I suppose these films contribute to the liberating feminist cause. This leads me to think that not all of these films reach the artistic level that the subject matter deserves. That is, when one sees, for example, Papicha, he runs the risk of applauding the protagonist, as if he were the person who really suffers from such circumstances, allowing himself to be overlapped by the content of the message. But good intentions – the feminine or feminist cause – do not make a movie good. And this is the case of Papicha, in which the story, if it is a reflection of reality, is overlapped by a clumsy handling by the team that has given birth to such a film. I'll explain.

The staging of the story seemed to me histrionic and exaggerated.

Account Papicha the story of a young woman, surrounded by friends who are also for the work of being free, in which she perceives that the airs of freedom are giving way to denser airs, in which cuts to freedom and creativity advance dangerously. We are talking about Algeria, a country that, after becoming westernized, experiences a return to fundamentalism. Hence the struggle of Papicha. However, the staging of the story seemed to me histrionic and exaggerated. Specifically, the camera movement generated a tension that had nothing to do with history. At the end of the projection I deduced that this movement was used to cover up gaps in the script. I do not know if that histrionic camera movement was intended to cover major shortcomings. The case is that, after letting rest Papicha in my cinephile mind, I realized that the story is too simplified, that the protagonists experience firsthand the shortcomings of the script, through inconsistencies that, if it were not for the histrionics of the camera, would be easier to see .

Apart from this, everything is predictable in Papicha, from start to finish. My conclusion is that it is possible that Papicha It is aimed at a type of audience that is not much of a fan and very affected by the situation described in the film. If from there arises a greater awareness of respect for women's freedom, fine. But what is clear is that Papicha it does not fill the soul of the movie buff who writes to them.


Synopsis Algeria, 1990s. Nedjma, 18, a student living in the university city of Algiers, dreams of becoming a stylist and refuses to let the tragic events of the Algerian civil war prevent her from leading a normal life and going out at night with her friend Wassila.
country Algeria
Address Mounia Meddour
Script Fadette Drouard, Mounia Meddour
Music Rob
Photography Léo Lefèvre
Distribution Marwan Zeghbib, Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella, Amira Hilda Douaouda, Yasin Houicha, Zahra Manel Doumandji, Aida Ghechoud, Nadia Kaci, Meriem Medjkrane
Gender Drama
Duration 106 min.
Original title Papicha
Premiere 05/01/2020

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[elcineenlasombra.com]