Sembène 100
Screening Dates
  • October 21, 2023 6:30
Imported 35mm Print

Moolaadé is the kind of film that can only be made by a director whose heart is in harmony with his mind … It is a film of politics and anger, and also a film of beauty, humour, and a deep affection for human nature.”

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Ousmane Sembène’s final film is a stunning work that channels the passion and intelligence of everyday heroism. It still holds the mantle as the most-awarded African film of the past two decades—a prize-winner at Cannes and a fixture on critics’ year-end lists—but Moolaadés finest achievement is as the culminating expression of Sembène’s cinema: a symbolic bookend to complement Black Girl, an expansion of Ceddos Indigenous resistance, and an expression of Mandabis final promise. This contemporary parable, shot in the remote village of Djerisso, Burkina Faso, centres on Collé (Fatoumata Coulibaly), the mother of a young woman promised in marriage to the village chief’s son. That ceremony’s progress becomes endangered when she defends four frightened girls who have escaped from their own, more controversial, rite of passage—female genital mutilation. Sembène’s expert hand turns the troubling social-issue subject into a moving portrayal of how women’s rights begin as children’s rights.

In Jula and French with English subtitles

Courageous [filmmaking] … Extraordinarily limpid cinematography, perfectly chosen locations, and a truly magnificent musical score.”

Mark Harris, The Georgia Straight

“[Encapsulates] grand currents of history in a majestic yet deft, brisk but profound touch … An ingenious ending, [with] one of the great last shots of a directorial career.”

Richard Brody, The New Yorker

This richly textured parable feels every inch the work of a master … Sembène unfurls Moolaadé like an elaborate tapestry in which story, symbols, and meanings are kept in perfect balance and not one thread appears inessential.”

Scott Foundas, Variety