Film Review • Timbuktu (2014)
The Nightmarish Perversion of "Justice"
Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF)
A look at the brief occupation of Timbuktu by militant Islamic rebels.
Under Timbuktu's new rulers, music, laughter, and sports (even soccer) have been prohibited, and kangaroo courts hand down horrendous and absurd punishments by the might of the gun.
Official submission of Mauritania to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015.
Timbuktu is silent, the doors closed, the streets empty. No more music, no tea, no cigarettes, no bright colors, no laughs. The women have become shadows. The religious fundamentalists are spreading terror in the region.
Following the recent jihadist takeover of northern Mali, a proud cattle herder comes into fateful conflict with the fundamentalist rulers of the provincial capital, in this luminous, lyrical and poetic drama from the great African filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako.
A gazelle strides across the desert, under the sound of a car's rumbling engine; seconds later, bullets cut the animal down in its tracks. The opening sequence of Abderrahmane Sissako's magisterial Timbuktu — which premiered to acclaim at this year's Cannes — encapsulates the essential truth of violent extremism: to destroy grace and beauty, not only with impunity but with an ironclad self-righteousness. Set during the early days of the 2012 fundamentalist takeover of northern Mali and inspired by real people and real events, Timbuktu is a searing drama about the everyday woes and resistance of ordinary people in a city overrun by extremist foreign fighters.
Under Timbuktu's new rulers, music, laughter, and sports (even soccer) have been prohibited, and kangaroo courts hand down horrendous and absurd punishments by the might of the gun. Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed, aka Pino Desperado) — a herder who lives in the dunes on the edge of the city with his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed), and twelve-year-old shepherd Issan (Mehdi Ag Mohamed) — has so far been unaffected by the harsh new regime. But when, during a row over the slaughter of his prize cow, he accidentally kills a fisherman, he experiences first-hand the nightmarish perversion of "justice" practiced by the occupiers.
Abderrahmane SISSAKO - Director
Nadia BEN RACHID - Film Editor
Sofian EL FANI - Director of Photography
Philippe WELSH - Audio engineer
Thierry DELOR - Re-recording mixer
Ami SOW - Costumes designer
Roman DYMNY - Sound
Sébastien BIRCHLER - Set decorator
Kessen TALL - Script / Dialogue
Demba DIEYE - Assistant director
Amine BOUHAFA - Music
Abderrahmane SISSAKO - Script / Dialogue
Sylvie PIALAT - Producer
Abderrahmane SISSAKO - Producer
Ibrahim AHMED - Kidane
Toulou KIKI - Satima
Abel JAFRI - Abdelkrim
Fatou DIAWARA - Fatou la chanteuse
Hicham YACOUBI - Djihadiste
Kettly NOÊL - Zabou