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> Timbuktu, The Mauritanian entry for the "Best Foreign Language Film"2015
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post Jun 11 2015, 01:48 PM
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"Timbuktu" is a social film that takes place in the homonymous city of Mali. It was originally screened at last year's Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Palm, but ultimately the grand prize went –unfairly- to the Turkish movie "Winter Sleep". Its title says it all. However, it won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the François Chalais Prize and caused a sensation with its content! Later, it was selected as the official proposal of Mauritania for the "Best Foreign Language Film" and finally it was chosen to be one of the five nominated films! Essentially, it was the first time that Mauritania participated in the Oscars and its selection in the largest American cinema institution. Only success can be considered! I waited for a long time for this movie to be released in my country, because I had never watched an African movie at the cinema and I was very curious about the result.
The film is inspired by true events, though the script contains several fiction items regarding persons, dialogues, etc. The fanatical Islamists of ISIL have penetrated in the town Timbuktu and their violent behavior, forcing residents of the region to behave in accordance with Islamic law. They enforce the prohibition of music, laughing, smoking, and even football. In particular women are imposed even more restrictions. "Timbuktu" hasn't got exactly all the elements that characterize a movie as the movie refers more to documentaries, in my opinion. Furthermore, I have to say that it has some pretty harsh images likely to shock the viewers. The directing was simple but it had elaborate montage, magnificent photography and beautiful African melodies were heard during the plot. The Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissako was not restricted to the directorial part of the film but he wrote the script along with Kessen Tall. "Timbuktu" is his second feature film after previously dealing with mainly documentaries and short films. Nevertheless, I think the scenario of "Timbuktu" was the weakest element of the film, because there was no cohesion in history and it looked like it had been connected to unrelated events together. Let alone, every sentence of the script contained the words "prophet" and "God" (Allah for them), to the point that cause us irritation. Of course, it was appropriate to reason, so that the viewers realize that in these areas there exists no logic after the invasion of jihadists.
I’m not sure what impressed the jury of the Oscar, since there were much better foreign movies than "Timbuktu". However, its reputation was not confined only within borders of America, after having won seven César awards (The French Oscars), including that of "Best Film" in 2014! Perhaps the fact that it deals with a topical political issue and is presented in that realistic way, it played a key role to its global recognition. However, it is a film that does not make a difference because it could have had a more coherent story. Nevertheless, it received very positive reviews wherever it was screened and has received a nice score in IMDb (7,3). I would give a similar rate because it has great photography but it loses about its content. Surely, though it was one of the most remarkable productions I saw in the cinema in the last six months.

This post has been edited by Insomnio: Jun 11 2015, 01:50 PM
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