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African Perspectives: Moolaadé by the godfather of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène in Windhoek

On Saturday, 26 June 2010 at 19h AfricAvenir Windhoek in the framework of its film series African Perspectives presents the movie “Moolaadé” by the godfather of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène, 2004, Senegal/Burkina Faso/Cameroon/France, 117 min, Orig. with Engl. Subtitles. Entrance 20,- N$.

Date: 26. June 2010
Time: 19h00
Venue: Studio 77, Old Breweries Complex, entrance via Garten Str.
Entrance: 20,- N$

After the screening a panel discussion with Adv. Esi Schimming-Chase (Law Society of Namibia), Naita Hishoono (Namibian Institute for Democracy), Dr. Helena Ndume (medical practitioner), and Nora Schimming-Chase (politician), will be held. The discussion will be moderated by John Nakuta (UNAM Law Faculty).

Molaade is presented to you in cooperation with the Spanish Cooperation AECID, Studio 77, Bank Windhoek Arts Festival, Hendrik Ehlers Consulting, the FNCC, and Pro Helvetia Cape Town.

Synopsis of film
In Moolaadé, his last film, Sembène once again portrays strong women as he takes on the highly controversial subject of female circumcision in Africa. The day begins when 6 four- to nine-year-old girls are to be circumcised. All children know that the operation is horrible torture and sometimes lethal. Two of the girls have drowned themselves in the well to escape the operation. The four other girls seek "magical protection" (moolaadé) by a woman who seven years before refused to have her daughter circumcised.

Sembène does not base his screenplay on an outside that comes to guide women in their fight: they are lucid enough to fight and make their condition progress. Renewal comes from the women themselves.

Awards/Prizes/Festivals:

  • Cannes Filmfestival 2005: prize “Un Certain Regard”
  • Festival International du Film de Marrakech 2004: Special Jury Prize
  • Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival 2005: Jury Price

About the director:
Ousmane Sembène was born in 1923 in Ziguinchor, Senegal. He joined the Free French forces in 1942, then worked in France. His novels include Le Docker Noir (1956) and Les bouts de bois de dieu (1960). He then studied film in Moscow. Among his many films are La noire de… (1966), Xala (1974), Ceddo (1976), and Guelwaar (1992). Moolaadé (2004) is the last film of the Senegalese-born 'father of African cinema', before he died in 2007.

According to Sembène, cinema is the 'night school' of his people and he tought to educate within this medium, elevating the style and language of film in order to serve the needs of African audiences. Sembène was drawn to filmmaking not simply for art sake - for self-indulgent exploits, like that of the Italian neo-realists or the French new wave, but to use cinema as a libratory practice, compelling his audience to do more - to do more than simply sit in a dark room, staring at a glowing screen. Rather, through his films, Sembène asked of his African audiences to challenge, to innovate, to progress.

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