Posted by on Mar 22, 2015 in Film, French, Human Rights, Music, Now, Politics, Review, Violence, Wars |

is at
the Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis
by/with the talented director/actress Ronit Elkabetz, also at the Plaza Frontenac
Golden Globe Nominated
M Y   R E V I E W
produced by the brothers Almadóvar
Academy Award Nominated

My review:
ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, al-Nusra, AQIM, al-Quaeda… the names have become too familiar. The urgency of the situation cannot be avoided… yet, until the senseless violence takes place next door, all of this remains only an abstraction.
In Mauritania though, where all of this is too close for comfort, a resounding alarm highlights the severity of the crisis – it is Abderrahmane Sissako’s prize-winning film Timbuktu.
In a rare mixture of subtlety and directness that reflects the incongruity of having Kalashnikovs facing shepherds, fishermen, soccer players and musicians, a powerful tale is told, one that stays with us beyond the storytelling.
As in an African griot’s tale, much simplicity hides much complexity, and as in many African films, time seems to have stopped.  The barrenness of the landscapes brings forth the many tragedies of the lands where killing and taking Islam hostage have become the norm.
It is not an accident that Timbuktu, beyond having been nominated for the Foreign Film Academy Award and having competed for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, received seven French Césars like best film and best director (AND best sound, cinematography, editing, music and original screenplay) – it is a memorable film.
The film’s alternate title is Le Chagrin des oiseaux, The Sorrow of Birds.

To get a sense of the film, instead of a typical trailer I recommend this one song by the famous Fatoumata Diawara, the actress/singer featured in the film. It is less explicit than the trailer below – the less you know, the more you can discover the film and experience it!
«Timbuktu Fasso» – written and sung by Fatoumata Diawara – Lyrics in English below.

The Timbuktu Trailer

Interviews with Abderrahmane Sissako

À Cannes: “Quand on humanise le bourreau, on montre que l’on croit en l’homme malgré tout.”

«Timbuktu Fasso» – Lyrics by Fatoumata Diawara (cf. clip above).
This is Timbuktu, my home land,
Where the children are mourning from gloom,
This is my land, Timbuktu «the Maliba»,
The land of love,
The land of warmth,
The land of dignity,
Here is my Nation…
Why are we crying?
Why are the children crying?
Why are the young crying?
Cause of unfairness,
Cause of violence,
Fearing the future…
Here is my home
Stop crying
Cause no matter what,
Timbuktu will remain