Timbuktu: 2015 Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film
Few films have aroused more unexpected controversy in recent years than the Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” which was released in the United States in January. Lyrical and visually arresting, the movie is set in the storied city of Timbuktu, in the West African nation of Mali.
Timbuktu has long been a center of Islamic scholarship, art, literature, and music—a deposit of cultural artifacts at the southern gate to the Sahara. The film tells a story about occupation, about what happens when Islamist extremists take over the town and impose a grinding interpretation of Sharia law. It’s also a story about resistance, about the people who refuse to submit to fundamentalism.
Not far from Timbuktu, now ruled by the religious fundamentalists, Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima, his daughter Toya, and Issan, 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 when Kidane accidentally kills Amadou, the fisherman who slaughtered “GPS,” his beloved cow. He now has to face the new laws of the foreign occupants. Timbuktu is Mauritania’s first entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. Universal
Music has released a soundtrack album for the drama Timbuktu. The album features the film’s original music composed by Amine Bouhafa. The soundtrack is now available overseas and is available as an import on Amazon.