Designed to cause shit. This is not an overrated films list because opinions are subjective. However I would love to…
A song for freedom
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. A look at the brief occupation of Timbuktu by militant Islamic rebels.
Of all the films as of late that attempt to depict an unfocused atmospheric portrait of some faraway country’s cultural idiosyncrasy or oppression, Timbuktu is probably the best, because it finds the delicate line between shock and satire, between heavy emotions and an impromptu joke or two and between barbarism and touches of humanity. For a film with little story, time flies as the viewer is shown a quick succession of subtly interwoven pieces on maintaining a certain everydayness under Jihadist rule. It never feels Islamophobic, nor does it leave a very sour taste afterwards; watching it may get uneasy during some scenes, but the camera doesn’t linger in an exploitive fashion, whilst it does linger to capture the passive…
tiff 2014 film #10
This film struck me like no other at TIFF.
If you want to know what it is like, really like, when your world gets taken over by regimes or fanatics that haphazardly impose their will over yours, this is the film to see. If you want to know what it is like to be helpless, truly helpless, the way many communities are in the world, this is the film to see. If you want to see the results of fanaticism, not in the big headline-worthy way (although that too) but in the insidious way it manifests itself in your daily life, this is the film to see.
Director Abderrahmane Sissako takes his time, he takes care…
TIFF 2014 film #10
Reason for pick: Buzz from Cannes
Director Abderrahmane Sissako frames his story of the occupation of Timbuktu by Islamic fundamentalist rebels with a perfect first scene. A jeep filled with men carrying machine guns races across the plane chasing a gazelle. Several rounds are fired, and we hear a voice yell out “ no! no! we don’t want to kill him, we just want to wear him out.”
Aside from this opening shot, the extremists are not painted as banshee screaming gun firing boogymen. No, their quiet insinuation into the lives of the residents of Timbuktu is much more insidious. With Sharia law imposed, hands can be chopped, daughters taken against their and their parents will…
Do not miss this great film when it comes to a theater at a major metropolis near you at the end of the month. It has its imperfections, but they pale in significance to its elegiac sense of will. After what happened yesterday in Paris, and especially for those confused about the ties between Islam and terrorism or operating under the mistaken belief that Charlie Hebdo's provocations weren't necessary, the film's searing, lucid depiction of innocents rightfully, righteously fighting fundamentalism from within will grip you in horrified empathy.
Powerful, evocative & thoroughly engrossing, Timbuktu is a riveting portrait of life under the regime of terror that brilliantly illustrates the absurdity of extremist mentality in a sardonic manner while also showcasing the hypocrisy of the Jihadists who themselves are unable to live up to the rules they so blatantly like imposing on the general population.
Timbuktu covers everyday life in the titular city of Mali which is under the occupation of Islamists & covers the harsh life its residents are forced to live for all leisurely activities are forbidden. The plot centres on a cattle herder & his family who live on the outskirts of the city and are typically free from those terrorists' interference but an unexpected incident abruptly changes their…
I get kind of annoyed whenever I hear Americans saying with all the pride in the world that they live in a free country. Mostly because that expression is commonly used in defense of questionable acts, but also because they say it like freedom was an exclusivity of the US. Fortunately, films like this exist and make me value every bit of liberty and democracy we have, as much as they're flawed.
The movie itself is superbly directed, the desolate and beautiful scenery is exquisitely explored, tightly edited and features some huge performances. Some sequences are definitely sticking to me for a long time, like the ball-less football and the woman singing while getting punished for it.
I don't use the word that often, but that's a picture that deserves it: Essential.
ISIScum logic 101:
>forces people to work instead of hanging out in the street
>doesn't work and instead hangs out in the street
>stones a little girl for supposedly flirting
>flirts with a married woman
>spreads a religious way of life
>ignores what a religious teacher says
Exquisite ethnography showing the slow deterioration of a community. At times brutal, at others beautiful. Its a hard but rewarding sit.
A stunningly beautiful film of the evil of religious zealotry.
The film follows moderate Muslims whose city has been taken over by jihadists. I found the changes to their lives portrayed powerfully.
Timbuktu won the Francois Chalais Award at Cannes in 2014 and was nominated for Best Foreign language film at the 2015 Academy Awards. It's easy to see why. Not only is it a beautiful, serene and well-made film but it also has the fortitude to take on radical Islam in a brash, yet compassionate way. The fact that this film and director Abderrahmane Sissako has been readily accepted by the western world is not only evidence that audiences are willing to see films depicting extremism, but are willing to accept a more nuanced version than the caricatures we've conjured in out own minds.
There are many stories covering the breadth of Timbuktu, though the main and most powerful tale concerns…
Moral improvement vs religious differences...man fights each other tooth and nail over faith. No football, no music, forced "marriages"...where does it end? This distortions of law is the byproduct of power binging to sickening lengths. Watching the children who are stuck in the crossfire of such behavior is perhaps the most crushing blow. "Where is God in all this?" Films like this lead me to pray for serenity in every man so that we can all live according to our own beliefs in peace. Even with forced melodrama here, we get the point and a reminder of real suffering from the faces and tears of those we meet.
Undeniably powerful at times, but also kind of unsure of the story it's telling, messy in filmmaking, execution and focus.
Not on Letterboxd:
218. "Camera falls from airplane and lands in pig pen-MUST WATCH END!!"
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…