7.7/10
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21 user 76 critic

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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6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Language:

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Release Date:

9 March 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Haha tachi no Mura  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,982 (USA) (15 October 2004)

Gross:

$214,605 (USA) (22 July 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Featured in The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful, moving film
21 February 2005 | by (Gainesville, FL) – See all my reviews

This is my first experience watching a film made in Africa. What a wonderful film to begin with! Moolade is one of the best films I have seen in recent times. It is a social commentary on the position of women in many parts of the African continent focusing on female genital mutilation (circumcision) called as "purification". The movie is tightly scripted, full of subtle, thought-provoking observations of the familial and social order in an unnamed African community. The director patiently tells the story of a woman (Colle) who is against female circumcision and offers a protection (Moolade) to four little girls who escape the ritual and seek shelter from her. The men in the community are unable to comprehend or handle her actions and the change it would bring in the community. They see her actions as a threat to the status quo and to the traditions. Ancient or modern, many traditions are based on superstitions and worse yet, are harmful to people. There is absolutely no question that female circumcision is a horrific practice that is not only physically harmful to women but also one of the worst forms of oppression. How deep this rot has spread in the community is lucidly depicted in the movie. The men in the community are unable to think outside the traditions and the women, especially Colle, end up paying a steep price for them to learn and grow.

Some scenes in the movie were very powerful and disturbing - the female circumcision (the actual process happens off screen), the scene where Colle's husband f**ks her (she is cut), the climax and the denouement. However, the movie proceeds at a relaxed pace in tune with life in the community, and always has interesting things to say. I was fascinated by the culture and the people that were in the movie, outside of the issues of female oppression. The movie is also backed by strong performances, particularly from Fatoumata Coulibaly, who portrays Colle with an interesting blend of resolution and motherliness - a powerful performance in a powerful film.

DO NOT MISS! 9 out of 10


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
we could use a film about American circumcision tkulawik
Seemed a bit too idyllic hurrikaane
So, how do we FIND it? billsincl
what language is it in really? kbenko
Stain on Colle's chin? dmullman
significance of Colle's cut pinky in Moolaade donna-foley
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