Friday, May 30, 2014


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.


Tsotsi (2005) Directed by Gavin Hood is a very powerful film that takes place in the slums of Johannesburg, South Africa. One of the very first scenes started off very violent as 4 thugs kill an older man for his money. The 4 thugs Tsotsi, Aap, Butcher, and Boston are a small time gang that rob, mug, and kill for a living. Tsotsi has a falling out with his gang when he beats Boston for questioning him about his emotions, background, and name. This caused Tsotsi to leave; as he fled the scene he shoots a woman in attempt to take her car. After driving for a few miles he realizes that there is an infant in the car. He then strips the car of its valuables along with the baby that was in it. He continues his thug life style while caring for this child. He finds a woman that has a newborn infant herself and forces her at gunpoint to feed the child. After feeding the child she asks to clean him. As the story goes on Tsotsi starts to feel something for the woman that cares for the child he kidnapped.  She then reveals to him that she knows where the baby came from and to please return him to the mother. Tsotsi was torn, but something inside of him made him decide to return the child to his family.

I feel like this movie had a few different themes. Life in poverty is one of them. Although to many of us the life style Tsotsi and his gang lives is considered despicable. It is the unfortunate reality that exists in our world. Some people have no choice but to live this way due to the circumstances that they find themselves in. Another main theme is disparity. You see it in the way most people are living in the slums and the lifestyles they have. As opposed to the parents of the kidnapped child, who live much differently than the other characters in the film. They have luxurious cars a beautiful house with a gate and top of the line alarm system.

I personally enjoyed this film very much. It was powerful in many ways and it captured my attention immediately. I started out absolutely hating Tsotsi. How can a human being be so cold? But as the movie played out you begin to learn more about the character, and realize all the reasons that lie behind his actions and it makes you begin to sympathize with him. I like the connections they make with the flash back scenes that Tsotsi has to put all the pieces together. Through out the movie I felt like Tsotsi was putting up a wall to protect his true feelings inside which was that he never had love in his life. But finally starts to feel it with the baby, and because of the baby the woman who breast-fed the baby came into his life and he began to fall for her mothering nature. The story line was fantastic. I enjoyed watching a film in a foreign language from a foreign country it was a wonderful experience to see the way other cultures live. The actors did a wonderful job and I definitely recommend this movie. Very good!