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Oscar Nominated ‘Timbuktu’ Transcends the Present

Fatin Abbas | Africa is a Country   in  · · ·
February 18, 2015

Timbuktu, a new film from acclaimed Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako has won a string of international awards, is nominated for a foreign-language Oscar, and is a firm favorite to take the best film award at FESPACO. We decided to publish a few reviews of this momentous film. This is the second review we’ve published on the film. The first was by Andrew Hernann.

Early on in Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu, a jihadist gets off a motorcycle in a city street and announces over a loudspeaker that from now on smoking is forbidden, music is haram, and women must cover up. The jihadists have taken over, and life is about to change for Timbuktu’s inhabitants. The rest of the film traces the way in which those words become a deadly reality. At the center of the film is Kidane (played by Ibrahim Ahmed), a Tuareg herdsman who gets caught up, along with his family, in the jihadists’ net after a fatal accident by the river one day.


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