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Review Carcassonne 2023 / “Houria” (2022) by Mounia Meddour


After having been proposed in competition of the Angoulême Festival, Houria is offered at the opening of the Carcassonne International Political Film Festival. Criticism and opinion on Mounia Meddour’s film.


In Algeria, the young Houria (Lyna Khoudri) devotes herself to classical dance. A violent nocturnal aggression from a “repentant” causes her a handicap that she will then have to overcome.

Houria : new collaboration between Mounia Meddour and Lyna Koudhri

After papicha (2019) and the enthusiastic success garnered from both critics and the public, Mounia Meddour continues his collaboration with the actress Lyna Koudhri to embody the emancipation force of female youth to overcome the endemic violence of an Algerian patriarchal system as well as a recent political history still left in the shadow of powerful taboos.

As for The Blessed in which the acting talent of Lyna Khoudri imposed itself with force, also alongside the unforgettable Nadia Kaci, it is the legacy of the unhealed wounds of the violence of the murderous terrorism of the Black Decade which is evoked in canvas background of the drama that the protagonists are going through.

an ineffective public service

Thus, the story of Houria and her aggression which led her to lose her voice becomes the symbol of women whose expression in the public space has been stifled. This journey towards emancipation passes through the social construction of a powerful sisterly force and the expression of the body through dance. The writing of the screenplay is thus conceived on the basis of precious intentions to encourage the emancipation of a whole movement of contemporary women so that Algerian society can finally find its own voice.

In the meantime, after the male movement of harragas witnessed in the film of the same name by Merzak Allouache, young Algerian women in turn attempt the clandestine crossing of the Mediterranean at the risk of losing their lives.

picture houria film

Indeed, the daily life described by Mounia Meddour in Houria is still plagued by an ineffective public service, in particular with a police whose preservation of social peace and respect for the integrity of Algerians and Algerians is the least of its concerns. The institutions are therefore no longer able to maintain and preserve the rule of law and the future of society is in this respect more than uncertain, with in particular a “repentant”, that is to say a responsible man of crimes during the Dark Decade who enjoys full immunity, who has enough power to shut down a dance hall used by women.

The hope with the involvement of a lawyer is nevertheless permitted, as is the strength of the dance group of voiceless women whose choreographies on the residential terraces open up new horizons.

This article is brought to you by columnist Cédric Lépine.

Learn more:

  • Release date France: 03/15/2023
  • Distribution France: The pact

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