Moolaadé 2004 directed by Ousmane Sembène is a film that focuses on female genital mutilation or female circumcision. The movie takes place in an African village where this tradition of cutting the girls still takes place. The reason they mutilate the girls genitals is so that they can be “purified”. As the movie begins 4 young girls that ran away from the circumcision ceremony seek Collè for protection because they know that she is the only mother in the village that apposed her daughter Amasatou to be cut. Collè is one of 3 Wives but is the most intelligent of them all and the most valiant because she stands up for what she believes in, in a land where the men are treated as gods. The tribe of woman who perform the mutilation came looking for the girls at Collè house to take them back for the circumcision, but Collè did not allow for that to happen. The elders of the village became involved in all this and immediately started to make changes such as taking the radios away from the entire woman in the village and demanding Collè to release the girls at once and include her daughter Amasatou to be cut as well. Amasatou was engaged to Ibrahima who was in Paris, France at the time but since she was a Bilakoro a girl who was not “pure” Ibrahima’s father, who is one of the elders, called off her engagement. Ibrahima seems to be more open-minded and doesn’t care in fact probably even prefers that she was not cut but his father would not allow it. As the movie goes Collè stands for what she believes in and gets beat by her husband in front of the whole village. She did not give in and because of her valiance the woman from the village admired her and supported her. From that moment on no other woman would allow the girls to be cut anymore.
Moolaadé is a film of politics and anger, and also a film of beauty, humor, and a deep affection for human nature (Ebert). You notice in this film that there is a huge difference between men and woman. Men are treated as gods although it doesn’t seem like they do much for the village. Women do not receive respect and work a lot to maintain the men happy. But although these harsh conditions exist among they women, they still find a way to be happy and enjoy life as best as they can. Female genital mutilation was put into the spotlight with this film and it opened up a door for possible change.
I could not believe that Female genital mutilation still existed. It was sad to see what the women of the village had to go through in order to be “purified”. It was upsetting to see how ignorant these men were and how bad they treated the women. It was a very good film to watch to be informed on what goes on in foreign places. However it was not a film I enjoyed very much. The message was powerful and I appreciate what I’ve gained from watching the film. But unless you are interested in finding out how people live in the small villages of Senegal and why they maintain this tradition of cutting women I would not recommend this movie.