Screening of Timbuktu (2014)

Timbuktu (2014) centers on the brief occupation of the city by militant Ansar Dine extremists. The occupying rebel force imposes a strict interpretation of sharia that affects the quiet lives of characters like cattle herder Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed dit Pino), his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), and daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed). When local fisherman Amadou (Omar Haidara) kills one of his cows, Kidane confronts and accidentally shoots him, leading to his arrest and death sentence. Timbuktu chronicles this and similar scenes of residents’ lives upturned by the militant occupiers. The film was among those in selection for the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the François Chalais Prize. Mauritania submitted Timbuktu as nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, and the film also received eleven nominations at the 11th Africa Movie Academy Awards, winning Best Film.

Co-writer/director Abderrahmane Sissako will join Richard Watts (University of Washington) for a post-screening discussion of Timbuktu.