"Papicha: Mounia Meddour in resistance mode" "Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)
In collaboration with Africine.org, translated from French by Beti Ellerson and published on the African Women in Cinema Blog.
EN FRANÇAIS : http://www.africine.org/?menu=art&no=14682
To resist with needle in hand. This is the pulsating exposé that the filmmaker Mounia Meddour delivers in Papicha, the film representing Algeria at Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.
Nedjma (Lyna Khoudri) is a young Algerian student living on a university campus. In the early 1990s, Algeria saw the first hours of a civil war between the state and Islamic terrorists. The "dark decade", as it will be called later, left thousands of Algerian families in bereavement. But festivities are still going on at the start of Papicha, the first feature film by the Algerian director. With her friend Wassila (Shirine Boutella), they have quietly left the city to party and to sell the creations of Nedjma, a budding stylist, to the "papichas", the nickname for "pretty young Algerian girls". It is still the time of insouciance.
The police roadblocks and the posters pasted on the walls of the university buildings which demand that women wear the veil, nonetheless suggest that this époque will soon see its epilogue. The filmmaker alternates the scenes of a seemingly immutable day-to-day life with those indicating that because of the violence, the world of Nedjma and that of all Algerians is falling apart.
The student and her friend have the same problems as all the young women in the world. However, finding solutions is increasingly complex in a society that is becoming more and more conservative. This noxious atmosphere is a source of trauma for Nedjma, especially when tragedy arrives at her door. She then takes refuge in sewing. The needle and haik, a large fabric that Algerian women use to cover their bodies, will now be their weapons to challenge those who restrict women's rights on a daily basis. The show she intends to organise is conceived of as a political demonstration against all those extremists who want to put her and her fellow comrades in their place.
Nedjma's character is a figure of resistance like those Algerian women who hid in their famous haik, their weapons against French settlers during the war of independence. The use of this cloth brings about one of the most beautiful scenes of the film when Nedjma's mother explains it to her daughters. Mounia Meddour, inspired by the pain of exile imposed on her family by the dark decade, delivers a story to the glory of all the young girls, women and feminists who have stood up, who stand up and who rise in Algeria in order to preserve and guarantee their legitimate right to self-determination.
Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance
Résister l'aiguille à la main. C'est la vibrante démonstration que livre la cinéaste Mounia Meddour dans Papicha, film représentant l'Algérie à Un Certain Regard au Festival de Cannes.
Nedjma (Lyna Khoudri) est une jeune étudiante algéroise qui réside en cité universitaire. Au début des années 90, l'Algérie vit les premières heures d'une guerre civile qui oppose l'Etat aux terroristes islamistes. La décennie noire, comme on l'appellera plus tard, endeuillera des milliers de familles algériennes. Mais l'heure est encore à la fête quand démarre Papicha, le premier long métrage de fiction de la réalisatrice algérienne. Avec son amie Wassila (Shirine Boutella), elles ont encore quitté la cité en douce pour aller faire la fête et vendre les créations de Nedjma, styliste en herbe, aux "papichas", surnom des "jolies jeunes filles algéroises". C'est encore le temps de l'insouciance. Lire l'intégralité de l'article @ http://www.africine.org/?menu=art&no=14682