Moolaadé (2004)




Critic Consensus: A vibrant, powerful, and poignant glimpse into the struggles of women in modern Africa.

Movie Info

Set in a small African village, four young girls face a ritual "purification" flee to the household of Colle' Ardo Gallo Sy, a strong-willed woman who has managed to shield her own teenage daughter from mutilation. Colle' invokes the time-honored custom of moolaade (sanctuary) to protect the fugitives, and tension mounts as the ensuing stand-off pits Colle' against a village traditionalists (both male and female) and endangers the prospective marriage of her daughter to the heir-apparent to the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Ousmane Sembène
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 11, 2007
New Yorker Films - Official Site



as Colle Ardo Gallo Sy

as Doyenne des Exciseus...

as Alima Ba

as Mercenaire
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Critic Reviews for Moolaadé

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (31)

This masterwork by Ousmane Sembene, the 81-year-old father of African cinema and one of Senegal's greatest novelists, is the second film in a trilogy celebrating African women.

Full Review… | October 22, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Ousmane, who wrote and directs, gives strong flavors to his characterization of village life and its peoples. But as drama the film mostly serves to illustrate the two sides of this crucial social debate in Africa.

October 30, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

This is an impassioned and uplifting film.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Though Moolaadé doesn't shy away from the task of educating its viewers about the brutality of 'purification,' it works equally well as a tribute to righteous defiance wherever it surfaces.

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

It's certainly clear where the director stands on the issue, but underneath is a far richer film about the complex issues of globalization and the values of tradition.

Full Review… | July 21, 2005
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A story told in music, vivid imagery and ritualistic movement.

Full Review… | April 15, 2005
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Moolaadé


[font=Century Gothic]"Shake Hands with the Devil" is a documentary about Romeo Dallaire, who was the commander of the United Nations forces in 1994 in Rwanda as he tried unsuccessfully to prevent the genocide with an underfunded and undermanned mission. Dallaire, whose hands were tied, still acted in the behavior and manner of a professional soldier while saving lives. Afterwards, he suffered mental anguish, by wondering if there was anything more he could have done. The lesson of the movie is that a life is worth saving no matter where they live and that we all have a responsibility to stop this.(And it may be happening again in the Darfur region of Sudan...) [/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]"Shake Hands with the Devil" traces the origins of this genocide back to before 1960 when Rwanda was a colonial possession of Belgium and how those colonialist and racist attitudes fueled the racist hatred. Plus, it explains that this could have been stopped, not only by a better commitment to United Nations forces but also simply by the world's powers taking a stand.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]"Shake Hands with the Devil" is an emotionally, powerful documentary. This is absolutely necessary viewing.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"Moolaade" is a movie from Africa directed by Ousmene Sembene. Six young girls escape to avoid Purification(or to be much less delicate - genital mutilation). Four wind up going to Colle because they have heard that she prohibited her daughter from undergoing the ceremony, even though this was frowned upon by the village elders and might affect her daughter adversely. Colle invokes Moolaade(protection) for the girls. Colle has her reasons for being against the ceremony of Purification. She suffered through the ceremony. Her first two babies were born dead; the third lived but it was a messy affair.[/color][/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]"Moolaade" is an intelligent, thoughtful movie about gender roles set in an African village. The only major point against this movie is that it ended on a particularly false note.[/color][/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Disturbing and moving story of a minor womens' lib that protects young girls from circumcision in a great movie about this unfortunate practice.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

A very unelegant subject is dealt in this movie elegantly... director Ousmane Sembene brings a story where the practice of female circumcision is everyday issue in a small village in Burkina Faso in such a way that the 2 h 4 min fly why we are drawn into the magic of his work.

A movie which is a must for every lover of African cinematography.

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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