Timbuktu presents a humanizing portrait of life under jihadist oppression — a film review

I should watch this!

Independent Ethos

TIMBUKTU_1Sht_Acad_{f5134dd0-075b-e411-9d0b-d4ae527c3b65}From the country of Mauritania comes Timbuktu, one of the most heart-breaking and humanistic films you will see this year. Do not be turned off if you do not know where Mauritania is, for director Abderrahmane Sissako, who co-wrote the script with Kessen Tall, has put together a border-busting story that is both stark and beautiful. It also helps that the film has been nominated for the best foreign language Oscar. At last year’s Cannes Film Festival, it won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the François Chalais Prize.

Sissako grew up in Mali but was born in Mauritania. As a filmmaker he has worked from Russia and France, making movies concerned with Africa both inside and out. He has not made a movie since his much-loved Bamako (2006), now long out of print on DVD. In interviews, Sissako has said he makes movies when…

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