Main Cast: Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella, Yasin Houicha
Entered as Best Foreign Film, 2020 Academy Awards
This debut feature from Mounia Meddour is one of the few films that got tongues wagging at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 and we are thrilled to present it at Subtitle. Papicha (which means ‘beautiful girl’) is set during the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s, also referred to as the ‘Black Decade’. It tells the story of a free-spirited, fashion-loving young student, Nedjma, whose freedom is increasingly curbed by sinister conservative forces, until there is nothing else to do but either rebel or leave — the kind of stark choice which resonates as much today as it ever did. The film fizzes with an energy and freshness that mark it out as special; one of the main reasons for this is the striking performance of Lyna Khoudri in the leading role and she will be in Kilkenny to present the film.