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Moolaade Review

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When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female circumcision, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart.

★★★★

Forty years after he made Africa's first feminist feature, 81 year-old Senegalese director Ousmane SembÞne reveals that little has changed since Black Girl outraged the conservative continent.

Thirty-eight countries still condone the barbaric practice of female circumcision, and SembÞne again employs a mixture of patriarchal satire and humanist melodrama to highlight the unequal struggle between progress and tradition. As the wife who defies both her husband and the village elders by refusing to surrender five girls for 'purification', Fatoumata Coulibaly dominates proceedings, but Dominique Zeida also impresses as the disgraced soldier whose store opens up a world of temptation and knowledge to the increasingly receptive womenfolk.

Poetic, provocative and unstoppably powerful. But, depressingly, it probably won't change a thing.