2014 [FRENCH]

Action / Drama / War

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
881.37 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.77 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 1 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by paul-allaer9 / 10

"Where is forgiveness? where is leniency?"

"Timbuktu" (2014 release from Mauritania; 99 min.) brings the story (fictional, by influenced by real events) of how the Mali town copes with the 'liberation' by jihadis. As the movie opens, we see the jihadis having a shooting practice by destroying the local wood statutes. The jihadis issue all kinds of rules ("smoking is forbidden! music is forbidden!"),much to the irritation of the local Mali population. We get to know one local family in particular, a husband and wife with their 12 yr. old daughter. They live a bit outside of the city center where the desert takes over, going about their daily business as best as possible. Then one day, one of the husband's cow accidentally destroys the fishing nets of the fisherman, who promptly kills the cow. The husband decides that he cannot tolerate this. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first, it is a small miracle that a movie like "Timbuktu" could even have been made. Writer-director Abderrahmane Sissako shot the movie in Mauritania, which subs for Mali, but let's not kid ourselves. Mauritania is an "Islamic Republic", so it was no easy feat to shoot there either. Second, Sissako demonstrates again and again how much the local population resends the jihadis for uprooting their lives. There are several scenes in which a local man pleads with the jihadis ("where is forgiveness? where is leniency?"),to no avail of course. Playing soccer will cost you 20 leashes. Playing music comes at 40 lashes. Being in the room with someone from the opposite sex is another 40 lashes, and on and on. The fact that the neither side can understand the other (they speak Tamasheq in Timbuktu, the jihadis mostly speak Arabian, some also speak French or English) only makes the entire situation even more absurd. Second, while there are some shocking scenes in the movie, overall this is not a violent or graphic film. Almost on the contrary, in that the movie's editing and photography is done in such a way that it induces a false sense of peace and security. The photography in particular is pure eye-candy. Third, I have no idea where Sissako found these performers, but there are some wonderful performances, in particular from the wife and the 12 yr. old daughter. Bottom line: there is a good reason why this film is nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, as it is a deeply moving film that will stay with you long after you have seen it.

The movie finally opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I went to see it right away. The matinée screening where I saw this at today was attended okay but not great, although I'm hoping that the bitter cold weather is a factor for that. If you like a top-notch foreign film that provides a glimpse of what real life under jihad is like, you cannot go wrong with this. "Timbuktu" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Reviewed by Turfseer7 / 10

Underlying fable of Jihadi oppression, Director Sissako's clarion call for freedom can be heard

On April 1, 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Al Qaeda linked Ansar Dine, took over Timbuktu in the African country of Mali, and placed it under Sharia law. Director Abderrahmane Sissako was born in his mother's country of Mauritania, but spent most of his life in Mali, his father's place of birth. Sissako's main goal in "Timbuktu," is to expose both the harsh rule of the Jihadists along with their hypocrisy.

Sissako begins his story with images of Africa animist statutes being machine-gunned (off screen) by the newly minted oppressors of Timbuktu. Sissako's Jihadists are not simply one-dimensional villains. The leader of the lot, Abdelkrim, hails from Libya and must utilize an interpreter to communicate his harsh vision of Islam. Despite his puritanical orders, Abdelkrim is not averse to talking shop about soccer (which is banned in the city) as well as smoking cigarettes.

Abdelkrim soon realizes that his local conscripts aren't as enthusiastic about Jihad than he is. He attempts to coach one of his local soldiers to fashion a propaganda message before a video camera but the young man just doesn't seem to be able to say things like he means it.

While the Jihadists drive around in SUV's with machine guns slung over their shoulders, the administration of Sharia law proceeds at a snail's pace. This is probably due to the slow paced nature of life in that part of the world to begin with. I was expecting brutal large scale massacres along the lines of ISIS in Syria or Iraq, but most of the jihadists' violent actions are selective: a woman receives lashes for singing and a couple is stoned to death for committing adultery.

Sissako doesn't focus a great deal of time in fleshing out his victims, although a couple of his characters hit the mark: the odd but interesting Haitian female shaman who isn't afraid to thumb her nose at her oppressors as well as a local Iman who attempts to reason with the jihadists over one of their soldiers taking a young girl as his bride against her wishes.

Sissako's main character who constitutes the main part of the narrative is Kidane, a local herder who lives out in the countryside with his wife and daughter. As A. O. Scott argues, "He is a symbol of decency and tolerance, of everything the extremists want to destroy, precisely because he is an intriguing, fully rendered individual." I'm not sure if I agree with Mr. Scott that Kidane is "full rendered," as Mr. Sissako goes out of his way to emphasize the character's saintliness a little too often (yes we do come to realize that Kidane's daughter does mean just about everything to him).

Kidane does have an Achilles heel and Sissako perhaps suggests that Kihane's thirst for revenge may be endemic in the culture. After a local fisherman kills one of his prize cows, Kihane goes to "talk" to him, carrying a gun (his wife warns him not to carry the gun, but he ignores her). Sure enough, the argument between the two turns into a killing-whether the shot that was fired occurred during the struggle or was intentional-is unclear. Kihane ends up before the Jihadi court but probably would have ended up in the same situation, no matter who was administering justice.

Some critics have suggested that Sissako's style is akin to Brecht. Certainly a good part of his strategy is to make his audience aware of social injustice and exploitation in a part of the world most westerners are not familiar with. If some of his characters seem a bit sketchy, that's because Sissako has fashioned more of a fable than docudrama. Under the veneer of Sissako's tragic landscape, the clarion call for freedom continues to resonate.

Reviewed by MartinHafer7 / 10

Worth seeing but tough to watch and enjoy.

"Timbuktu" is a brave film from Mauritania that shows what it's like in a small African town after it's been taken over by Jihadists determined to enforce Sharia Law. However, I should warn you--the film is far from enjoyable and seems rather hopeless and it also lacks the usual resolution you'd expect in a movie. This is not a criticism, as giving it a happy ending would have been ridiculous.

The film shows a variety of scenarios in which harsh Muslim law is implemented. Having fun of any type seems illegal--no singing, no music, no playing soccer...nothing. In addition, a man kills another man in self-defense and is brought to this tribunal...and his family is now left defenseless without a man to protect him.

Considering the film's pedigree, it is amazingly professional looking. The music is excellent and haunting, the acting very natural. Overall, a sad but intense drama that shows a slice of life...a very ugly slice.

Read more IMDb reviews