Friday, January 14, 2005

Well the rains finally stop but boy it's cold. Ok it's not snowing and cold to me is 40 degrees but this is all this Californian knows...I took advantage of the dry evening to stroll up Nob Hill this evening by walking up California Street. I'll bring a camera next time it's a pleasant but hilly walk from downtown to the Tenderlion. My goal was the Lumiere theatre to see the Ousmane Sembène film Moolaade.

This film is powerful story about 4 girls who refuse to participate in their purification ritual (female circumcision ) they receive protection or Moolaade from Colle (Fatoumata Coulibaly) a village woman who had previously refused to have her daughter circumcised. Her act to protect the girls sets in motion a power struggle between tradition and change within the village.

The film captures provincial village life, religion as a tool to control people and the influence of globalization among people. The film also shows how people make brave decisions that can have an effect on their and others lives. But it also shows clearly these actions do not happened without consequences.

The film works on several levels, aesthetically it doesn't feel Western. Its' pace gives it an quiet almost real time feel; the cinematography is subtle and elegant. The story unfolds slowly but builds with a tension. It's messages stays with you it's a film that makes you think.

I've just seen two very good films based in Africa within the last month Hotel Rwanda and Moolaade both portrays brave individuals in environments that are not very forgiving. I wonder how these films work with African audiences. As good as both films are they still fit into our perspective of the continent as a basket case.

The females elders who perform circumcisions


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