First feature film by Franco-Algerian director Mounia Meddour, “Papicha” looks back on a painful episode in the history of Algeria. Perhaps too painful for the Algerian authorities who canceled the release of the film on their territory.
papicha : a successful first feature
Until papichaMounia Meddur only made documentaries. In 2019, she decided to present in feature film a subject that she had already mentioned in Algerian cinema, a new breath : that of the black decade.
The Black Decade is a conflict that took place in the 1990s between the Algerian government and several Islamist groups considered terrorist by the latter. In an atmosphere of civil war, the two sides waged a merciless battle, involving the death of thousands of civilians. The presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 1999 marked the end of this dark conflict which remains despite everything in the minds of many Algerianstwenty years later. It is in this context that take place the story of papicha.
We follow Nedjma, a student who dreams at all costs of becoming a stylist. However, she lives in Algiers, in a difficult political and social period. However, she decides to defy the taboos by organizing a fashion show.
After his release, papicha won numerous awards. Thus, Mounia Meddour notably wins the Caesar for best first film while actress Lyna Khoudri wins the statuette of the best female hope.
A preview canceled for unclear reasons
Before the film is released in France on October 9, 2019, papicha was to know a preview scheduled for September 21 in Algeria. Unfortunately, 4 days before its release, it is announced that this preview and the national release of the feature film will not take place. We are talking about “internal reasons” which would have led to this cancellation.
However, as reported The world, papicha obtained the necessary funding from the ministerial commission. The film shot in Algeria had obtained all the authorizations, and even received the compulsory exploitation visa for any public screening.
However, given the historical scope of the subjectit is possible that the government took fright and decided to censor the film.
But that’s not all. During the rise of the red carpet in Cannes, the director and the actresses of papicha wore badges that read ” Yetna7aw Ga3 » (“Let them all go”), one of the slogans chanted in the demonstrations that took place in 2019 in the country, for a change of political system, and a “Second Republic”. Another possible explanation for film censorship in Algeria.