7.2/10
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66 user 177 critic

Timbuktu (2014)

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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.

Writers:

Abderrahmane Sissako (screenplay), Kessen Tall (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ibrahim Ahmed ... Kidane (as Ibrahim Ahmed dit Pino)
Abel Jafri ... Abdelkerim
Toulou Kiki ... Satima
Layla Walet Mohamed Layla Walet Mohamed ... Toya
Mehdi A.G. Mohamed ... Issan
Hichem Yacoubi Hichem Yacoubi ... Djihadiste
Kettly Noël ... Zabou
Fatoumata Diawara ... La chanteuse
Adel Mahmoud Cherif Adel Mahmoud Cherif ... L'Imam
Salem Dendou Salem Dendou ... Le chef djihadiste
Mamby Kamissoko Mamby Kamissoko ... Djihadiste
Yoro Diakité Yoro Diakité ... Djihadiste
Cheik A.G. Emakni Cheik A.G. Emakni ... Omar
Zikra Oualet Moussa Zikra Oualet Moussa ... Tina
Weli Cleib Weli Cleib ... Juge
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Mauritania | France

Release Date:

10 December 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Timbuktú See more »

Filming Locations:

Mauritania See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$78,544, 6 February 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,076,075

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,179,391
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Omar: Satima?
Satima: I'm listening.
Omar: 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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Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Run
Composed, Arranged and Orchestrated By Amin Bouhafa
© 2014 Universal Music France
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User Reviews

 
Hard to watch but a brilliant achievement
18 February 2015 | by veeckasinwreckSee all my reviews

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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