After “Papicha”, Mounia Meddour brings Lyna Khoudri into the dance in Algeria

They are vibrant with complicity. Actress Lyna Khoudri and director Mounia Meddour team up again for Houria after having obtained an international success and two César for papicha. Houria is the first name of the heroine of this second feature film, a young Algerian, brilliant classical dancer, whose dreams will be shattered after a brutal attack.

“What interested me was the reconstruction of the character, explains Mounia Meddour to 20 minutes. Like Algeria, Houria has enormous potential that needs to be rediscovered. “This work as strong as papicha offers both the portrait of a wounded young woman who has become mute following a trauma and the description of a country handicapped by red tape and politics.

A great responsibility

Lyna Khoudri is dazzling in the title role where she expresses all the complexity of her character without being able to use words. “I consulted a lot of doctors and neurologists to play Houria,” she explains. I entered this character through the body. I started dancing as soon as I knew we were going to make the film. His choreographies, which evolve over the course of the story, express both his anger and his courage. Some danced passages, especially the one at the end of the film, take your breath away.

The two young women do not only have talent in common. They also have a taste for hard work and perfectionism. “We are big hard workers, details Mounia Meddour. This corresponds to our way of working but also to the fact that we touch on sensitive subjects such as disability and Algeria, which accentuates our sense of responsibility. We sometimes have the impression of being ambassadors of a country that we rarely see in the cinema. »

The importance of solidarity

Sisterhood is central in this powerful tale of how a group of women support each other to escape difficult fates with as much energy as creativity. “They find a way to get by in a country where everything can change overnight for better or for worse,” explains Lyna Khoudri. The spectator follows her in her painful and galvanizing evolution. This beautiful film gives hope that the duo will soon meet again for a third collaboration.

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