Enjoy what may be the best film of 2014 in its rightful context – the cinema!

The screening of Timbuktu is subtitled in Norwegian.

A group of jihadist fighters take over in the the Malian city of Timbuktu and impose a whole new set of rules onto the local population. Sharia law is instated, cigarettes, music and football forbidden, and veiled men bearing kalashnikovs police the streets. This leads to a series of confrontations with the bemused and irritated locals, with both dramatic and absurd consequences. The people of Timbuktu are, thankfully, good at finding creative and humoristic ways of splitting the extremists. In the dunes in the outskirts of town lives a tuareg family and their small herd of cows. Their relative isolation has so far shielded them from the worst of the events in town. However an unfortunate event involving a cow named GPS changes their fortunes for the worst.

This film is inspired by real events that took place when radical islamists took power in Timbuktu in 2012. Director Abderrahmane Sissako's treatment of the extremists and their absurd double standards is both ironic, indignant, and at the same time deeply humane. There is much at stake in this conflict with the local population, which stands for a more liberal islam and aspires only to live in peace. Sissakos depiction of the culture clash is deliberately careful and beautifully low-key, but there is a lot of resentment simmering under the surface.

Timbuktu was selected for the Cannes official competition programme, and received unanimous praise from critics there. In France, it won no less than seven Césars, the country's own version of the Oscars, including best film and best direction. The film was also very positively received in Norway. «Despite its serious subject-matter, it is a film full of life, irony and poetry in an unjust world», wrote the magazine Cinema.

Cato Fossum (arkiv)


Abderrahmane Sissako was born in Mauritania in 1961, grew up in Mali, and studied film at the Federal State Film Institute in Moscow. He has directed a series of award-winning films including Life on Earth (1998), Waiting for Happiness (2002) and Bamako (2006), which deal with the themes of exile, and the relationship between Africa and the West through a typical combination of documentary, fiction, politics and poetry. Timbuktu (2014) was a critic favorite at Cannes, and was screened as part of the official competition programme.

This film is part of

HORIZONS Focus: Mali

Original title Le chagrin des oiseaux

Country Mauritania, Mali, France

Year 2014

Director Abderrahmane Sissako

Screenplay Abderrahmane Sissako, Kessen Tall

Cinematography Sofian El Fani

Producer Sylvie Pialat, Étienne Comar

Cast Ibrahim Ahmed, Abel Jafri, Toulou Kiki

Production Company Arte France Cinéma, Canal+, Ciné+, CNC, TV5 Monde

Distribution Fidalgo

Runtime 1h 37m

Language Arabic, French, Bambara, Tuareg

Subtitles Norwegian

Genre Drama

Format DCP

Age limit 15

Links IMDb

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