Trailer-Yesterday, Amandla!, Darwin's Nightmare, Dogora
Trailer-Look Both Ways, Kenny
|Year Of Production||2004|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Ousmane Sembene|
Maimouna Hélène Diarra
Balla Habib Dembélé
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.66:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In a village in Burkina Faso, a strong-willed woman named Colle hides several young girls from the cultural ritual of "purification", the brutal often life threatening act of female circumcision. Calling upon the time-honoured custom of moolaadé (magical protection), she and the other women in the village come together to rebel against the misogynistic attitudes towards them, using the cultural traditions to fight masculine domination, finding strength in knowledge as well as unlikely allies. As the men running the town attempt to overcome the women, their power goes beyond the "moolaadé", confronting the values that bind them.
Shot authentically and powerfully, Moolaadé moved audiences at the Cannes Film Festival and manages to bear the weight of the heavy subject matter without being exploitative or excruciating to watch - instead, the film is a celebration of life, and overcoming adversity and outdated, dangerous ideology. It is a beautiful film that will continue to resonate, and is a worthy swan song for Ousmane Sembene.
The video features a black border and is generally very rough, featuring pixelation and low level noise. It's an average transfer, in which there are few artefacts but occasional other issues, including some telecine wobble, some odd issues with flickering, and a look of softness that covers the entire film, with few scenes that are very sharp. This isn't uncommon for low budget features, but a lot of the blame here is clearly due to a mediocre job converting the film to digital.
Contrasting to these issues, the colours flourish brightly and the look of the film is great - it's as close to this kind of culture as a lot of us are going to get, and the video does a good job of putting us in that place, despite some of the drawbacks.
There is one English subtitle track, which is turned on by default, and it is unfortunately the major drawback for this DVD. The subtitles are horrible, full of spelling errors, mistranslations, long parts of dialogue not translated, and important words untranslated making their meanings completely unknown. It is the worst subtitle track I have ever come across, actively detracting from the film and making the experience less enjoyable and even understandable. Although it avoids the most common problem with subtitles - being invisible using only a single colour for text (this track uses the black-bordered-yellow text favoured by the SBS subtitling department) - the problems with this track leave me unable to recommend the DVD, and for a film this good, that is a horrible shame.
The soundtrack is adequate and utilizes both channels for surround rather than being a simple mono track split across two channels. There is plenty of immersion in the sounds of Burkina Faso, both in and out of the village, and the dialogue is all audible and well balanced with the effects and music.
Although a 5.1 track would have been nicer, the Dolby Digital 2.0 works with the soundtrack to create a nice sense of atmosphere.
|Surround Channel Use|
• Interview with Ousmane Sembene (25:20 / 16x9)
• Making of 'Moolaadé' (24:46 / 4:3)
• Ousmane Sembene Filmography
I am unable to find any complaints with the subtitles from this version, meaning that the R4 should be immediately skipped by anyone who wants to see this film properly (and everyone should).
The video and audio are both adequate, but the awful subtitle track makes watching the film very hard, actively destroying the experience.
There are few extras.
Do not buy this DVD - buy elsewhere if you want to see this film, and, as mentioned, you should.
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)|