Timbuktu movie still
Timbuktu movie poster

Timbuktu (2014)


Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Writers: Abderrahmane Sissako, Kessen Tall
Starring: Ibrahim Ahmed, Abel Jafri, Toulou Kiki, Layla Walet Mohamed

Set during the 2012 jihadist takeover of the eponymous ancient Malian city in West Africa, Timbuktu is a poetic and visually stunning take on the controversial and current subject of religious extremism.

Centered around the family of a cattle herder that gets in trouble for something one of his cows does, the film is told via a beautiful mosaic of moments, following various individuals and groups as they deal with life and conditions under the rule of an extremist Islamic group determined to control their faith. Music and sports, and pretty much everything that's fun is banned, a woman is sentenced to 40 lashes for singing, young men play football with an imaginary ball, a couple is buried up to their necks in sand and stoned to death for adultery, and other such things happen, hinting at the absurdity of the drastic rules enforced by the Islamic State and the effects of complete encroachment on people's ways of life.

Plot summary from IMDb: A cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu find their quiet lives -- which are typically free of the Jihadists determined to control their faith -- abruptly disturbed.

Awards: Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 14 nominations.
Runtime: 97 min



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