The best that cinema has had to offer since 2000 as picked by 177 film critics from around the world.…
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.
A moving film from North Africa contrasting a peaceful Muslim community with a band of jihadist invaders attempting to impose themselves. The film is shrewd enough to never lose sight of the human dimension of the characters.
Strong beginning, but man, does the middle drag. There's not very much plot development at all, overall. Some of the shots really are beautiful, though.
Devastating. A side of terrorism too often ignored by western media. Some stunning imagery and shattering acting makes this a stunning piece of art too
Beautifully made but the topic will leave you completely outraged.
Timbuktu is an engrossing, emotional, and visually beautiful film! It has such raw emotions, realism,and power of the human spirit! It deals with certain characters in a village that is taken over by militant Islamic Rebels and the film deals with the hardships of the village people under this new rule, and it also shows how just uncaring the rebels are but it also shows a hidden humanistic side to some of them. I found a few scenes in the film so beautiful and some that were just heart wrenching. The film to me was also very beautifully shot and the actors in the film each did so well. One of my favorite scenes is where a group of kids are playing soccer (Football) with an imaginary soccer ball because soccer had been outlawed. Very well made made film!
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Primeiro, o filme em questão é uma verdadeira obra-prima. No sentido mais amplo do termo mesmo, é como um quadro que resiste aos séculos e sempre estará lá encantando a quem o observa detidamente. Afinal, creio ser esta a função social daquilo que se propõe ser arte: a suspension of disbelief no seu grau mais catártico, como planetas orbitando uma estrela cuja luz não se apaga mas também não ilumina totalmente, numa névoa de eterno encantamento.
Timbuktu talvez ainda não tenha ascendido até este éden das grandes obras, seja pelo pouco tempo de maturidade, seja pelo descaso irresponsável dos opinadores, mas não restam dúvidas que será. É uma obra com élan, ainda que não ambicione o efeito de revolucionar as…
Part of 333 Great Directors Project.
Those eight years away were clearly productive for Sissako's aesthetic. Bamako's didactic nature was welcome, but this really sticks.
Truly a unique point of view I never thought I would see on screen. For some reason I feel like it would have had more of an impact on me if the score was removed completely.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…