African Film Festival showcased “Moolaade” in recognition of Black History Month

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Sociology Club showcased the film, “Moolaade,” a film about the female circumcision ritual that is still seen today in 34 of Africa’s 58 countries. The African Film Festival featured the film Thursday in B.L. Perry in recognition of Black History Month.

The African Film Festival started on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010. During the month different films have been shown each week. The first film was “Faat Kine.”

Assistant Professor of Sociology Cynthia T. Cook said the films were chosen based on how well they portrayed African culture and its rich history. “These are educational films that expose students to the history and culture of Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Cook.

Cook said these films were part of her cultural anthropology and African culture syllabi, courses that she has taught before joining the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at Florida A&M.

“I thought students would like to be exposed to Sub-Saharan Africa via film for Black History Month,” said Cook.

“Moolaade” is an inspiring film about six girls from a rural Burkina Faso village who escape mutilation by standing up for their rights against African traditions.

“Moolaade” had the largest audience of all the films shown. There were more than 30 students who watched anxiously as four of the girls ran off to a woman’s home who protected her daughter from this painful ceremony, while the other two fled to the city. The woman placed a ‘moolaade’, an unbreakable spell that could only be broken by her word, on them to protect them.

Travis Nelson, 19, a first-year engineering student from Miami said, “the film signifies where the strength of women may have been originated.”

Nelson felt it was interesting to see all the women finally coming together to support the woman who first stood against the village’s belief.

Shanley McCray, president of the Sociology Club, agrees that it correlates with the present. “There are still so many women being treated unfairly. We face something less harsh and not physical,” said McCray.

“I think it shows that women have more rights today and times have definitely changed in a major way,” said Katie Gilmore, 20, a second-year nursing student from Milton.