|Starring:||Fatoumata Coulibaly, Dominique Zeida, Aminata Dao, Maimouna Helene Diarra, Mah Compaore, Salimata Traore|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema - African|
|Run time:||2 hours 4 minutes|
|Rental release:||14 Nov 2005|
|Main languages:||French, Bambara|
Most helpful review
A moving and shocking masterpieceBy Philip Concannon from London , 09 Jun 2005
[Highly rated reviewer]The latest film from African director Ousmane Sembene, a towering figure in the history of black cinema, tackles a very difficult and provocative subject matter with subtlety and grace. 'Moolaad?' is a film about female circumcision, a barbaric process which is known among those who perform it as 'purification'. Set in a small village in Burkina Faso, the process of 'purification' is thrown into chaos when six young girls flee the ceremony. Two of them escape to the city, while the remaining four run towards the home of a local woman named Colle (Fatoumata Coulibaly). Colle runs a simple piece of coloured cord along the gate of her house and refuses to give up the children. The elders and the Salindana (the women who perform the ritual) cannot cross the line for fear of invoking the curse of 'Moolaad?'.
What a wonderful film this is. Sembene, at the age of 82, puts his story together with effortless grace and makes his points in an understated but incisive manner. 'Moolaad?' also benefits from Dominique Gentil's glorious cinematography, which celebrates the vibrancy and beauty of the African way of life, and the marvellous musical score of traditional music.
Throughout, the authenticity of the film is never in doubt, the performances are enthralling, and the pain on display is very real - but so is the indomitable spirit of these people.
Perhaps critics will argue that the women's rebellion against the general order of things would not be tolerated so easily in such a patriarchal society? Maybe, but Sembene is clearly biased in his presentation, and who wouldn't be, given the terrible aggression against femininity the film depicts? When I saw the film, a number of audience members cheered at the rousing climax, and it's easy to understand why. This is the reaction great cinema can provoke.
'Moolaad?' is unquestionably one of the finest films of the year, and I cannot overstate how much it is a work of such vital importance. Ousmane Sembene's ability to take this subject matter and make such a moving, mind-expanding work of art from it is testament to the director's film-making craft, his wit and intelligence, and, above all, his humanity.
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For whoever loves the real AfricaBy a customer , 20 May 2013Very good representation of how things are out in the bush remote from the metropolitan elites. The acting at times is a bit weak but the run of the story feels so genuine it overcomes that easily. I hope there really is the will to stop this horrible practise of genital mutilation.
A beautiful film of resistance to unwarranted traditionBy ManchesterMike (22 reviews) , 31 Dec 2011My introduction to the films of Ousmane Sembene left me wanting to watch more of his output. Not only are the saturated colours of this African landscape beautifully rendered but so too is the colour of life in a primitive African village, where there is deep respect for ancient traditions. So, despite opposition to her modernist views, the males respect the female protagonist's right of dissent through the traditional 'moolaade'. This film is a compelling story of one woman's battle against the shocking tradition of female 'circumscision' and the prejudice against uncircumcised women. It was interesting to learn from the interview with Sembene (on the DVD) that the origins of female genital mutilation are undocumented and pre-date organised religion. There is plenty to think about in this beautifully made film.
Tradition vs modernity in rural West AfricaBy a customer , 17 Aug 2011Moolaadé (which means magical protection) is the final film made by veteran Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène. The film tells the story of a woman who dares to challenge the long standing traditions of her patriarchal community by offering protection to four young girls who have refused to be purified. All the action takes place in a colourful village located in a surprisingly green part of Burkina Faso.
Although the ending is perhaps rather too optimistic Moolaade is well directed and acted and highlights very effectively the plight of many women in Africa.
The DVD has two interesting extras an interview with the director and a documentary about the making of Moolaadé. These make one aware of the many obstacles that had to be overcome to create this moving drama in a remote village in West Africa.
disturbing subject matterBy kartum (210 reviews) from west lothian , 13 Sep 2010this is a very disturbing and upsetting subject but the story was very well told and there was power and hope with the women of the village at the end!
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breath of fresh airBy citroenamy (5 reviews) from Bristol , 12 Oct 2009no fancy camera angles, no location location, just the backdrop of the Village and the playing out of an issue that no African woman can fail to have an opinion about