Timbuktu

Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Countries: Mauritania
Year: 2014
Running Time: 97 min.
Language: Arabic, Bambara, English, French and Songhay

TIMBUKTU

Not far from Timbuktu, now ruled by the religious fundamentalists, Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima, his daughter Toya, and Issan, their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes when Kidane accidentally kills Amadou, the fisherman who slaughtered “GPS,” his beloved cow. He now has to face the new laws of the foreign occupants.

About the Director

Abderrahmane Sissako

sissakoBiography: Abderrahmane Sissako was born in Kiffa, Mauritania, in 1961 and raised in Mali, his father’s homeland. When he returned to Mauritania in 1980, the emotional and financial difficulties of adjustment made him turn to literature and film. A study grant allowed him to attend the Institute of the University of Moscow. Le Jeu (1989), first presented as a graduation assignment, won the prize for best short at the Giornate del Cinema Africano of Perugia in 1991. In 1993, October was shown at Locarno and won prizes the world over. His film Waiting for Happiness was screened at Cannes 2002 and was winner of the FIPRESCI award for best film in the Un certain regard section. It was also shown at the New York Film Festival in 2002 and won the Grand Prize at FESPACO in 2003. The overtly political Bamako (2006) represents a move away from autobiography but the explicit subject of Bamako had been the implicit themes of his other films: the legacy of colonialism and the lopsided relationship between the first and third worlds.

Sissako is, along with Ousmane Sembène, Souleymane Cissé, Idrissa Ouedraogo and Djibril Diop Mambety, one of the few filmmakers from Sub-Saharan Africa to reach a measure of international influence. His 2014 film Timbuktu was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, garnered a 2015 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and swept the 2015 Cesar Awards in France winning seven awards, including Best Director and Best Film.

(Sources:
Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.36
http://mubi.com/cast_members/11165)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Le Jeu (2003);
October (1994, 1997, 2003, 2013);
Africa DreamingSabriya [The Black and the White] (1998);
Rostov-Luanda (1998);
Life on Earth [La Vie sur Terre] (2013);
Heremakono [Waiting for Happiness] (2003);
Bamako (2007)
Timbuktu (2015).

Filmography:
Le Jeu (1989);
October (1993);
Molom, conte de Mongolie (1994);
Le Chameau et les Bâtons flottants (1994);
Le Passant (1995);
Africa DreamingSabriya [The Black and the White] (1997);
Rostov-Luanda (1997);
Life on Earth [La Vie sur Terre] (1998);
Heremakono [Waiting for Happiness] (2002);
Bamako (2006);
8 – Tiya’s Dream (2008);
Stories on Human Rights – Dignity (2008);
L’Afrique vue par… [Africa Seen by…] – Une femme fâchée (2009);
Je vous souhaite la pluie (2010);
Timbuktu (2014).