The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
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…
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
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.
A powerful portrayal of life under an extremist regime. Humanist and gripping, an important film for today's world.
Beautiful imagery and very interesting theme/subject, but the extremely slow pacing and very unfocused narrative didn't let me get in the story.
SORRY...I falled asleep for 2/3 part of it. The guy sitting beside me just kept sobbing which was pretty annoying . Well... A very depressing film, about the helpless people being killed by terrorism. Another film focused on political issues. ( necessary not my tea though)
In many ways it's a very beautiful film, some of the shots are exquisite and there are some solid performances. I had a very difficult time engaging with it though and have to admit I was struggling to stay awake. It's not concerned so much with constructing a straightforward plot as much as it is capturing a time and place, and giving you a real feel for the daily life of the inhabitants of a city overtaken by Muslim extremism. In some sense it does succeed in this, but I felt it meandered a bit too much at times and oppression never really 'hit' me like I think it was intended to.
An important film about a little known region. Lost out to the much more powerful Ida for the best foreign-language Oscar.
I'm inclined to give this an even higher rating because despite being a bit unfocused (a few too many compelling characters and stories were given an incomplete treatment) it was still beautiful, complicated, honest, and moving. I'll probably appreciate it even more after a second watch.
A conflicted film, and one that fights itself at every turn. On the one hand you have a rich, and masterfully crafted human drama, but all of that is threatened to be swallowed whole at every turn by a persistant desire to generate political awareness. Sissako is not quite at the level of a Jia or a Panahi in his ability to let the material simply exist in a political landscape. It's as if the viewers are not trusted to interpret how this story is being informed by the political climate so we must keep cutting away to fundamentalist asides that say, "see how awful it all is??" A shame, because the core story is quite moving.
This film is brilliant. Cinematography is so clean. Highly recommended.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!