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Mame Ndoumbé Diop
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Djibril Diop Mambéty
Djibril Diop Mambéty,
In an African village this is the day when six 4-9-year-old girls are to be 'cut' (the act of female genital mutilation) All children know that the operation is horrible torture and sometimes lethal, and all adults know that some cut women can only give birth by Caesarean section. Two of the girls have drowned themselves in the well to escape the operation. The four other girls seek "magical protection" (moolaadé) by a woman (Colle) who seven years before refused to have her daughter circumcised. Moolaadé is indicated by a coloured rope. But no one would dare step over and fetch the children. Moolaadé can only be revoked by Colle herself. Her husband's relatives persuade him to whip her in public into revoking. Opposite groups of women shout to her to revoke or to be steadfast, but no woman interferes. When Colle is at the wedge of fainting, the merchant takes action and stops the maltreatment. Therefore he is hunted out of the village and, when out of sight, murdered. Written by
Max Scharnberg, Stockholm, Sweden
Moolaade is a present-day story of the impact that female genital mutilation has on one African village that lives very much according to tradition, yet has been touched by communication from the outside world. It's a simple, yet gripping, story, beautifully and creatively filmed. The people come across as thoroughly real people (in spite of the fact, or because, several of the actors are not professionals), yet the story is presented in such a way that each element, abstracted and beautifully caught by the camera, is isolated from whatever else is happening. It is filmed in an Africa language (and occasionally in French) so most viewers have to depend on subtitles, which appear at times to be abstracts of what has actually been said. Because the subtitles are short, they are readable and tend to reinforce the simplicity and directness of the story. It is a film with a message, educational but also a feast for the eyes.
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