Samaris create new Iceland saga
Considered to be Africa's greatest film-maker ever since he trained in the Soviet Union some 40 years ago, Ousmane Sembane has made many controversial films tackling issues of poverty, ignorance and the struggle against imperialist rule.
This year's winner of the Un Certain Regard at the Cannes film festival, Moolaade challenges the ancient rites of female "purification," a practice that continues to plague that troubled continent.
Starring Fatoumata Coulibaly as a circumcised woman who, during the fight to save her daughter from the horrors of the knife, calls on the protection of the moolaade - sanctuary - to provide a safe haven for other young girls.
This triggers a revolt among the other women as they are faced with the old guard of men and women who have a vested interest in retaining their privileges, even at the cost of young female lives.
As always with Sembane, the action takes the pace of village life, the colourful participants playing out their parts against a dry desert background living in a warren of incredible mud huts.
Typical is a scene where the enraged men decide to destroy the women's radios - their point of connection to the outside world - and pile them in a bonfire in front of the a mosque and a giant ant hill.
The mosque symbolises their current religious servitude, the ant hill being built on the ancient grave of an ancestor, the inference being that they're ideological structures designed to keep them ignorant.
As the pyre burns and the black smoke swirls about, the people are prompted to realise that it will take more than a few flames to extinguish the spark of freedom that the women have ignited.
Magnificent, a film of much compassion and mutual understanding, it should be required viewing for people everywhere who think that they can deny and hold back history and keep people in ideological bondage.
Forget Sin City - if you wanna be cool, get along to see how real women fight.