The final film from African cinema's founding father, Ousmane Sembene, Moolaade is a potent polemic directed against the still common practice of female circumcision. Though the subject matter may seem weighty, this buoyant film is anything but - Sembene places the action amid a colorful, vibrant tapestry of village life, employing an imaginative array of emblematic metaphors, mythic overtones and rousing songs.
Moolaade reinf-rces the strong feminist consciousness that marked his earlier classics Faat Kine, Black Girl and Ceddo. In a small village, four young girls facing ritual purification flee to the household of Colle Ardo Gallo Sy, a strong willed women who has managed to shield her own teenage daughter from mutilation. Colle invokes the time honored custom of moolaade(sanctuary) to protect the fugitives. Tension mounts as the ensuing stand off pits Colle against village traditionalists (both male and female) endangering her daughter's prospective marriage to the heir apparent to the tribal throne.
A sharp critic of the internal problems of modern Africa, but also a passionate advocate of African pride and autonomy, Sembene's fiery spirit will live on beyond Moolaade stand up and cheer finale.