Claudia Leisinger


Director: Ousmane Sembene
Cast: Fatoumata Coulibaly, Helene Diarra, Salimata Traore
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 3rd June 2005

The title means ‘protection’ in the African Wolof language, here offered by circumcised woman Colle (Coulibaly) to four young girls due to be ‘purified’ – i.e. genitally mutilated - as prescribed by their tribal law. If that sounds unbearably grim, don’t worry; this singular feature from Sembene, the 81-year old father of African cinema, is strangely entertaining, even humorous on occasion, as well as horrific when required. His theatrical style brims with potent imagery, while the warm yet fierce humanism leaves no doubt where his sympathies lie. Refreshing, too, to see TV and radio portrayed for once as forces of enlightenment.

* * * *(four stars)

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