2019, Mounia Meddour, Algeria/France, 108 min.
With Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella
"Lovingly acted...the female camaraderie feels both well observed and authentic."--Boyd van Hoeij, Variety
"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."--Amy Taubin, Film Comment
Algeria, 1990s. Nedjma (Khoudri, starring in 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 to keep her from experiencing a normal life and going out at night with her friend Wassila. As the social climate becomes more conservative, she rejects the new restrictions on women set by the radicals and decides to fight for her freedom and independence by putting on a fashion show. After selection at the 2019 Cannes International Film Festival, and as Algeria’s official submission for Academy Awards consideration, PAPICHA scooped two Cesars (the French Oscar-equivalent) as well as the AMPAS Gold Fellowship Award for Woman, and the humanitarian award at the 2020 Satellite Awards. In Arabic with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of Distrib Films)
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