Nedjma, an 18-year-old student passionate about fashion design refuses to let the tragic events of the Algerian Civil War keep her from experiencing a normal life. As the social climate becomes more conservative, she rejects the new bans set by the radicals and decides to put on a fashion show.

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    • Lyna KhoudriNedjma
    • Shirine BoutellaWassila
    • Amira Hilda DouaoudaSamira
    • Nadia KaciMadame Kamissi
    • Yasin HouichaMehdi
    • Zahra DoumandjiKahina
    • Aida GuechoudSaliha
    • Meriem MedjkaneLinda
    • Marwan ZeghbibKarim
    • Samir ElhakimMokhtar


    • 90

      The New York Times

      Marked by a fierce vitality and vivid emotional authenticity, Papicha thrives on the heat of Nedjma’s anger and the glorious bond among the mostly young female performers.
    • 80

      Screen Daily

      The film’s most rewarding strand is the inventive, pointed way in which clothes and textiles are used as metaphors both for female constraints and female defiance.
    • 75

      Brisk, confident, and atmospheric, Mounia Meddour’s feature debut Papicha promptly brings to mind certain female driven films of the 21st century, centered on young women’s camaraderie, resistance and unique struggles—movies like Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s moody “Mustang,” Margaret Betts’ somber “Novitiate,” Peter Mullan’s devastating “The Magdalene Sisters” and even Talya Lavie’s darkly comedic “Zero Motivation.”
    • 50

      The Hollywood Reporter

      Very knowing about female friendships and the different possible reactions to forced social change, this is a lovingly acted film that, unfortunately, derails in the third act; the calamitous events depicted work fine as a blunt metaphor for where the country found itself or was headed, but doesn't convince on a narrative level or in terms of its psychological impact on the characters.
    • 50


      The screenplay’s seams show so glaringly, and the finish is so tonally mismatched, that notwithstanding audience identification and the inevitable “loosely inspired by real events” tagline, Papicha feels conspicuously manipulative.

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