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Moolaadé (2004)

Unrated | | Drama | 9 March 2005 (France)
When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female genital mutilation, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fatoumata Coulibaly ...
Collé Gallo Ardo Sy
Maimouna Hélène Diarra ...
Salimata Traoré ...
Dominique Zeïda ...
Mah Compaoré ...
Doyenne des Exciseuses
Aminata Dao ...
Alima Bâ
Rasmané Ouédraogo ...
Ciré Bathily (as Rasmane Ouedraogo)
Ousmane Konaté ...
Amath Bathily
Bakaramoto Sanogo ...
Modibo Sangaré ...
Balla Bathily
Joseph Traoré ...
Théophile Sowié ...
Ibrahima (as Moussa Théophile Sowié)
Habib Dembélé ...
Gustave Sorgho ...
Cheick Oumar Maiga ...
Kémo Tiékura


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Set in Burkina Faso, an inspiring story about a group of women who stand up for their rights against the traditions of their village




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 March 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Haha tachi no Mura  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,982, 17 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$214,605, 24 July 2005
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The meaning of the word Moolaadé is magical protection. See more »


Mercenaire's shirt is drenched with sweat when he takes a drink before setting up shop, but is dry when customers begin to arrive. See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Best Films of 2004 (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding, creative, original, deeply moving
1 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

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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