|TIMBUKTU (director/writer: Abderrahmane Sissako; screenwriter: Kessen Tall; cinematographer: Sofian El Fani; editor: Nadia Ben Rachid; music: Amine Bouhafa; cast: Ibrahim Ahmed, a.k.a. Pino (Kidane), Toulou Kiki (Satima), Abel Jafri (Abdelkrim), Fatoumata Diawara (Fatou), Hichem Yacoubi (Jihadist), Kettly Noël (Zabou), Mehdi A. G. Mohamed (Issan), Layla Walet Mohamed (Toya), Adel Mahmoud Cherif (Imam), Salem Dendou (Chief Jihadist); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Sylvie Pialat/Abderrahmane Sissako; Cohen Media Group; 2014-France/Mauritania-in Arabic, Bambara, English, French, Songhay and Tamasheq, with English subtitles)|
|"A mesmerizing political tone
film of our times about intolerant Islamic
fundamentalist taking control of a Muslim
community in Timbuktu."
by Dennis Schwartz
mesmerizing political tone film of our times about
intolerant Islamic fundamentalist taking control of
a Muslim community in Timbuktu and ruling by sharia
law. The polemical atmospheric historical drama is
masterfully directed by Abderrahmane Sissako ("8"/"Waiting
for Happiness"/"Bamako"). He skillfully co-writes it
with Kessen Tall. It was shot in the
director's birthplace of Mauritanian,
in the cities of Oualata and Nema. The film
has a sense of immediacy, and its tragic
circumstances are upsetting and would be comical
if they didn't have such serious consequences.
take over a peaceful Muslim community and destroy the
local culture. They awkwardly interact with the
multi-cultural ethnic locals through interpreters.
Many locals have fled from their oppressors. The
hypocritical foreign leader, Abdelkrim (Abel
Jafri), smokes but punishes others if they
smoke. The militants (made up of international
recruits and converts), have lost their humanity for a
power-trip. They force on the people their arbitrary
Islam laws of no music, no soccer, forced marriages,
death by stoning and the suppression of women by
making them dress in certain ways.
heart of the parable-like story has the happily
married cow-herder Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed)
accidentally killing a neighbor fisherman
while arguing over why the fisherman purposely
killed Kidane's prized cow when it strayed on his
land and drank from his pond. The peaceful
herder accepts his fate, and is sad only to leave
behind his precious 12-year-old daughter Toya (Layla
Walet Mohamed), his beloved wife Satima (Toulou
Kiki) and his loyal orphan boy herder Issan (Mehdi
A. G. Mohamed) he acts as guardian to.
Punishment is almost immediate.
clearly shown is that the jihadists want to control
everyone and their religion is falsely used to
accomplish that through its cruel behavior and absurd
REVIEWED ON 7/22/2015 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ