Reactions to Papicha

Papicha, the fourth film of our 77th season achieved an overall appreciation score of 79%, and received a mostly appreciative, supportive reception, although some members had some criticisms. Some of the comments submitted:

  • Shocking at times. Have great insight into life in Algeria. An excellent film.
  • Wonderful actors and brilliant cinematography.
  • Powerful, hard-hitting film which never overplayed its hand with the risk of descending into melodrama, and with some lighter intervals to ensure the film maximised its overall impact.
  • A “Sweet & Sour film” – perfectly balanced!
  • Harrowing – for a man – and utterly timely as the repression of women seems to be re-gathering pace around the world. The film spoke very powerfully and was fascinating for its constant use of close-up.
  • A very good portrayal of life for women in an extreme culture of misogyny & religious bigotry. Very upsetting that older women were party to these beliefs if women didn’t conform to mens depictions of how women should behave. It made me appreciate life in Britain- with all its faults – is a safe place for most women & their aspirations.
  • Very good film, if depressing because of its misogyny. Very little in the film (or the handout) to explain the context of the FLN/Islamists conflict in 1990s Algeria and its relationship to the Algerian/French war of the 1950s/60s. Maybe we should have shown Pontecorvo’s ‘Battle of Algiers’ the week before? (and maybe some other past ‘classics’ each season, to?)
  • A film that shocks with its realistic portrayal of violence to women.
  • Insightful and powerful, made you realise how we take for granted the freedoms we enjoy…..
  • Covering a traumatic series of events very well. The handheld limited field camera work makes it a hard film to watch. Overall was glad to see but need to chill afterwards!
  • A reminder, as events in Tehran show, that women in many states still struggle for parity with men. A powerful and shocking depiction of that struggle.
  • Vigorous and energetic but in the end resorted to a version of the status quo: stay in Algeria, make clothes, care for your friend’s baby.
  • Brilliantly acted and well shot but there was little subtlety in the message and the ending was too clearly designed to shock.
  • Went on a bit too long and became dull at times. Left too many unanswered questions by the end of the film.
  • The constant manic bouncing camera angles gave me motion sickness! I kept praying for it to stop but it didn’t found the film naive and amateurish with an obviously important message and some great acting at times. Very disappointing overall. Overrated.
  • Those noisy girls did not convince me that they were real characters I could care about. So many of the scenes were superficial and unoriginal, apart from the Islamic menace which added interest. The frantic camerawork was tiresome.