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Directed by Ousmane Sembene
Produced in 2004
Main Language - BAMBARA / FRENCH with English subtitles
Countries & Regions - African Film
Veteran Senegalese director Sembene takes female genital circumcision as the subject of his uncompromising film in which a woman who is known to have mystical powers gives four young girls who have run away from the ritual a 'moolaadé', or spell of protection. This provokes the anger of the villagers and she is forced to stand up to the intimidation of her husband, his brother and the male elders in the village who see her as a threat to traditional values.
Publisher: Artificial Eye
Length: 120 mins
Aspect ratio: Enhanced for widescreen TV
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 14th November 2005
Cat No: ART303DVD
- Interview with Ousmane Sembene
- Behind the scenes featurette
- Theatrical trailer.
by Anon on 25th August 2005
Moolaadé, a powerful and uncompromising film by 81-year old Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene, depicts the clash between entrenched cultural and religious tradition ... Read on
Moolaadé, a powerful and uncompromising film by 81-year old Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene, depicts the clash between entrenched cultural and religious tradition and modern secular society over the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) in a West African village. Practiced mainly on girls between the ages of four and eight, FGM refers to the removal of part, or all, of the female genitalia as a means of reducing a woman's desire for sex and the chances that they will have sex outside of marriage.
In the film, six girls refuse to take part in the "purification" ritual. Two run away to an uncertain fate and the remaining four are sheltered by Colle Gallo Ardo Sy (Fatoumata Coulibaly), a woman who is known to have mystical powers and has given the four girls the "moolaade", the spell of protection. She ties a rope across the entrance of her home and all are forbidden to cross it until she releases the spell by uttering the correct words.
Colle's moolaadé stirs the anger of the Salidana, a group of women dressed in red gowns who perform the mutilation. She is also forced to stand up to the intimidation of her husband and his brother and the male elders in the village who see her as a threat to their values. While Moolaadé is political, it is multi-layered and the characters are complex individuals who are more than symbols. Shot in a profusion of brilliant colors, Moolaadé opens the door to a little known culture and, in the process, brings a brutal practice to the world's attention. According to a physician from Sudan, "It is only a matter of time before all forms of female circumcision in children will be made illegal in Western countries and, eventually, in Africa." Moolaadé shows us the way.