TIMBUKTU / TIMBUKTU

SYNOPSIS
In his magnificent fourth feature film, Abderrahmane Sissako
demonstrates his remarkable ability to thoroughly condemn religious
fanaticism and intolerance with subtlety and restraint. Timbuktu
concerns the jihadist siege of the Malian city of the title in 2012. A ragtag
band of Islamic fundamentalists, hailing from France, Saudi Arabia, and
Libya, among other nations, announce their increasingly absurd list of
prohibitions—no music, no sports, no socializing—via megaphone to
Timbuktu’s denizens, several of whom refuse to follow these strictures,
no matter the consequence. In one instance of such defiance, perhaps
Timbuktu’s most indelible scene, a group of boys “play” soccer with an
invisible ball; in another, a woman who has been sentenced to be flogged
for singing continues her song between lashes (her punishment depicted
discreetly). Upbraided by a local imam for entering a mosque with guns,
the jihadists reveal themselves to be men less concerned with the
teachings of the Koran than with enforcing draconian, and ever arbitrary,
law. As further proof of Sissako’s great compassion, even these horribly
misguided dogmatists are presented as multidimensional characters,
though the intolerant way of life they insist on is never less than criminal.

“Not just a timely movie, a great one…Timbuktu feels at once timely and permanent,
immediate and essential.”

—A.O. Scott, The New York Times

DIRECTOR
Abderrahmane Sissako

SCREENPLAY
Abderrahmane Sissako and Kessen Tall

CAST
Pino Desperado
Fatoumata Diawara
Abel Jafri
Toulou Kiki
Kettly Noël
Hichem Yacoubi

GENRE Drama
LANGUAGE Arabic, Bambara, French, English, Songhay, and Tamasheq
RUNNING TIME 100’
PRODUCTION France, Mauritania, 2014
FORMAT(S) Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Cohen Media Group