Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Starring: Ibrahim Ahmed, Toulou Kik, Abel Jafri, Fatoumata Diawara
Mauritania/France, 2014, 1 hour 37 minutes, subtitles
A lucid portrait of the impact of foreign jihadis on life in Timbuktu as they hypocritically enforce sharia law – no music, no football, no smoking, suitable dress. Beautifully filmed against the backdrop of sandy streets, stark desert landscapes and the sparkling river, this weaves together the stories of the residents as they adjust to living with oppression as best they can. There’s a traditional Toureg herder living peacefully in the dunes on the edge of town, a Muslim who plays desert blues. A liberal Imam intercedes for a black woman and berates the gunmen for disturbing the peace of his mosque. Sissako (Bamako, Waiting for Happiness) has a caustic sense of the absurd, making this subtle clash of cultures both funny and petrifying, while creating a powerful feel of fate inevitably playing itself out.
“passionate and visually beautiful . . Timbuktu is a cry from the heart” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Winner of two Awards at Cannes Film Festival 2014
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