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…
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.
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…
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 cerebral look at the day-to-day life of people under a fundamentalist Islamic occupation, how it looks and works.
Beautifully shot and interesting to see the dynamics of radical Islam in an already Muslim, though comparatively liberal, community.
The power of this film to move me increases with each viewing, and today's events make its wisdom and humanism overwhelming. In the light of the horrors in the news, the film feels like an act of defiance itself: refusing to simplify the characters; finding humour in their frailties and foibles; and though tragedy is ever present, finding hope in irrepressible humanity. The deep sadness of the final image may lInger as the screen fades to black, but it can't erase the memory of that wonderful mock football match, or the beautifully sensuous late night song.
Judging by the excellent comments and observations in the Screen St Ives post screening discussion tonight, I wasn't the only one who was so profoundly affected by this film.
It brings Islamic extremism into a space not often seen by western audiences, an one with empathy, beauty, even humor.
Yezzy was great in this one.
SAW: at the LDT
Perante este sentimental filme posso referir que de um certo modo gostei, apesar da violência contida, porém, devo agradecer ao realizador Abderrahmane Sissako, pelo magnifico filme e ao seu fantástico elenco, em destaque Ibrahim Ahmed, Layla Walet Mohamed e Toulou Kiki.
O filme transmite-nos vários aspetos vividos na cidade de Tombuctu, pertencente ao país Mali, uma área dominada pelo poder islâmico, que por sua vez, tenta à força implementar a doutrina islâmica ao povo maliense, impedindo-os de viver uma vida de cariz ocidental, o simples facto de jogar futebol, que aos olhos dos opressores é considerado exibicionalismo ou singeleza de tocar/cantar musicas, que como se viu no filme, leva a consequências gravíssimas, tais como chicotadas ou apedrejamentos até a morte,…
The idyllic life of the gentle and humble people of Timbuktu on the edges of the Sahara desert in Mali, West Africa (where incidentally I spent most of my summer in 1979) is threatened by foreigners from the north. Jihadists seeking to impose their Sharia law.
But what I found refreshing about this portrayal were the Jihadists that defied western stereotypes. Some seemed helpess to know how to proceed when confronted by bold women who defied their orders. Others showed moments of uncertainty and hesitation when their conscience opposed their call to duty. A new recruit fails to display any conviction whatsoever when given the opportunity on camera to repudiate his former love for music. Others were just awkward, bumbling…
With “Timbuktu” Abderrahmane Sissako has given us the most emotionally affecting and beautiful film of 2015, an impressive feat considering the lack of inherit beauty in its story of jihadists occupying a small town in Mali.
To convey the harsh reality of the town people’s lives, Sissako makes the bold choice of taking a gentle approach to his direction. From the way he quietly coaxes the performances out of his actors to the way he makes every camera movement slow and deliberate, his direction is always hushed. This brings a sense of beauty to the film that many directors could not get from this story.
While Sissako is constantly giving us a pitch perfect account the destruction of his character’s…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…