|Starring:||Fatoumata Coulibaly, Dominique Zeida, Aminata Dao, Maimouna Helene Diarra, Mah Compaore, Salimata Traore|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
|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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Don't be put off!By leewirral (1 review) from wirral , 01 Jun 2008This was a title I chose after reading good reviews etc, but when it arrived the idea of sitting through a two hour film shot in an African village based upon female circumcision didn't seem very entertaining.
But don't be put off!
It's a very good film and I'd certainly watch it again or recommend it to someone else.
Ouch! That's got to hurt.By It's only my opinion from London , 23 Apr 2008This story is set in a small quaint African Village. The huts are mud brick with clean swept dirt floors and livestock sharing the courtyards. It's based on the practice of female circumcision and one mothers struggle to end the barbaric act. The setting is fantastic with vibrant bright colours of the women's clothing to the contrasting dry and brittle landscape. The characters are loveable and what is an all to serious subject a few light hearted moments are dotted throughout the film.
At first glance this looks to be a 'bottom of the pile' film but with a little open mindedness you can really enjoy it.
Challenging but worthwhileBy Sid000 (1 review) from London , 02 Apr 2008This was a hard film to watch because of the subject matter, but well worth it. A real insight into a very different society. It is easy at first to dismiss the men folk as mysogynists...but you soon realise that they are victims too. What is nice about the film is that there is a solution and that solution is better communication, with news from the radio the women feel they have support to argue against the brutality and custom of female asicion. It is easy to relate this to situations throughout teh world where certain groups of people behave in what seems to us a self destructive and irrational way.....they just don't have the information that we have....like the characters in the film, if they had freedom of information they might behave quite differently
slow, heartwarmingBy a customer from London , 22 Mar 2008This is not a film full of action, if that's what you like. It is slow and poorly acted (on the most part) but strangely enjoyable in spite of this. Loved the cinematography, though it is a bit 'picturesque poverty'.
Sad but trueBy a customer from Beckenham , 31 Jan 2008A moving story told simply about an outdated monstrous tradition, held on to by others in order for things to stay the same....
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