Oscar-nominated opening film that deals with an increasingly topical issue. Kidane and his family live peacefully in the dunes outside of Timbuktu. The city is in the hands of religious fundamentalists. Playing music, laughing, smoking and even football are forbidden.
Women, too, are deprived of their rights. Every day, the improvised tribunal renders absurd and tragic judgments. The fate of Kidane and his family changes when Kidane accidentally kills fisherman Amadou, who had deliberately slaughtered his beloved cow. Kidane is now in the hands of the jihadists with their new laws.
French-Mauritanean director Abderrahmane Sissako (Bamako) based Timbuktuon a true story from 2012, when Al Qaida fighters stoned the parents of two children to death because they were not married. The media hardly paid any attention to it, much to the director’s dismay. However, his film is not a furious pamphlet; Timbuktu is a beautifully shot, poetic and touching plea for understanding, with beautiful music by Fatoumata Diawara from Mali, who also plays a minor role.
EYE Amsterdam will devote a retrospective to the work of director Sissako during the festival week. Besides Timbuktu this will include screenings of La vie sur terre, Bamako and Heremakono.