Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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.
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…
The opening scene shows a group of men firing toward a wild animal as it desperately tries to avoid being taken down by red hot lead. The gunshots pierce the serene stillness of the surrounding land before a facet of modern warfare takes centre stage, Islamic extremists riding their vehicle, circling the perimeter of Timbuktu, capital of Mali.
Just as Katmandu has reminded the world recently that it is indeed a real place, Timbuktu was a city held captive by Islamic fighters back in 2012, which director Abderrahmane Sissako uses to give us an insight into life under their rule. We see this mostly through the eyes of a cattle herder and his young family, witnessing the oppression forced upon…
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.
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.
The ways of the law
As a Hawksian paradox.
A life of poetry
Requires no ball.
Facing away from God.
Cannes review for The Film Stage. #WatchAfricanCinema.
Timbuktu won't change anyone's mind on this issue - Jihad isn't something you sit on the fence over - but it adds a host of human faces to the statistics on the six o'clock news.
Tries to show life, as under Islamic terrorists, in its own understated style. The protagonist looks a bit like Kanye. Malians make good music.
the first impression i've got from this was that this film, based on the subject, was going to be awesome in so many levels and highly emotional. that it would make me cry without effort. i was very excited to watch this.
the truth is, this film is awesome but not in that many levels. the productuon design is awesome, great, and cinematography i can't label it as something else but beautiful. the film presents a very strong and compelling story, but the fact is director abderrahmane sissako presents a tale lacking cohesion.
in an attemp to show the many ways totalitarism subdues and ultimately asphyxiates persons, towns, countries and beliefs, sissako lets all these subplots of the story wander without direction, like the cow called GPS (the irony).
A beautifully measured, quietly composed study of the dehumanizing effect of omnipresent oppression through the lives of a community living under the control of a religious conservative band of soldiers. Sissako plays this opposition out in a reserved, wistful mood which doesn't play the tragedy for overwrought melodrama but conveys a sense of a community so ground down by oppression that they've abandoned revolution, reserving their resilience and bravery for the personal, in small gatherings of musician friends and pantomimed games of soccer, in an effort to preserve their humanity through personal binds and small joys despite their lack of independence.
Aside from the almost absurd restrictions imposed upon the community, from bans on singing and playing soccer to mandatory…
A look at religious ideology oppressing a peoples' social harmony, and the contradictions of said oppressors. A complicated incident is dealt with a strict and dispassionate ruling (apparently following sharia law). Meanwhile other, undoubtedly less serious crimes, are dealt with a similarly medieval nonchalance towards basic humanity. The irony is that many of these people already have religion in their lives, but are being pushed to question it by those that seek to govern, and who are manipulating faith for their own gain or satisfaction - often in the name of pride.
We also see these Islamists claiming to respect their religion more than anything, but having little respect for the people they are imposing their faith upon...a fact frequently…
Beautiful cinematography - I absolutely love the contrast between the brown and beige tones of the ground and houses and the vibrant colours of people's clothes and vegetation - and arresting story. There's something beautifully simple about a film whose central idea is peace. For me, though, there was just a certain something missing from it.The final scenes, for example, felt kind of weird and somewhat rushed. I might change the score eventually to 5, but for now it is as it is.
Es una denuncia en toda regla, donde pone de manifiesto lo absurdo, infrahumano y ridículo del fundamentalismo religioso. Digna candidata a los Oscar como mejor película de habla no inglesa en 2014, y ganadora como mejor película en los premios Cesar (Francia).
It is a genuine complaint, which shows the absurd, inhuman and ridicule of religious fundamentalism. Worthy candidate for an Oscar as best foreign language film in 2014, and won Best Film at the Cesar (France) awards.
Nominated for the 2014 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, this film from the African nation of Mauritania gives us a window to glimpse into and see life in a world far removed from our own although what is important in this film -- family, home, life -- should be shared universally.
The film (mainly) tells the story of a remote herder and his family who lives near the Mali town of the film's title, Timbuktu (once an ancient trading post on a caravan across the desert), whose life is changed with the arrival of some religious extremist who move into the area and begin dictating their beliefs onto others. Those who do not follow along are mistreated and the…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…