Not far from the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu, proud cattle herder Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed aka Pino) lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), his daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed), and Issan (Mehdi Ag Mohamed), their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes abruptly.Written by
In 2015 Timbuktu became the first film shot in Mauritania by a Mauritanian director to win at the Cesar film awards. It won seven awards out of its eight nominations including Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Music and Best Sound, thus setting the record for being the African film with the most awards ever. See more »
I'm Abdelkarim's driver. I have a message from him: "He can't do anything to help. It's over".
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I don't believe there is one frame in this film that is not gorgeous, that couldn't be displayed as a photograph at a gallery. The muted colors of the desert, the medieval architecture of the town, the tragically expressive faces always glowing in a magical light--all of it is almost painfully beautiful. The story is beyond tragic. By seemingly digressing into numerous anecdotes illustrating the quirks of the population, the director allows us to appreciate deeply the texture and social fabric of the community that is being poisoned by madness. We see in particular its effect on an extremely appealing but by no means sanctified family. This is one of the film's extraordinary strengths as well. No character is oversimplified; even the appalling jihadists are granted their humanity. I've seen "Boyhood" and "Birdman", the apparent favorites for the Oscar. "Timbuktu" utterly blows both those fine movies out of the water.
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