Lana Jean Mitchell
Timbuktu (pronounced tawn book TOO), Mali, Africa has a reputation for being the site of the world’s first university; for being a place of scholars and scholarship; and for being a place of mysteries. In 2015 it also became a venue for the production of a modern day film, Timbuktu, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. Produced by Orange Studio and Cohen Media Group, the 96 minutes movie has been called “a masterwork, an extraordinary work” by authoritative movie critic for The New Yorker, Richard Brody.
The appearance of the running gazelle, at the beginning of the film sets the theme of the romantic love between the main characters, Shepherd Kidane and Satima his wife; and the pain and love of the people of the city of Timbuktu, who are occupied by Muslim Jihadists. Toya the young daughter of Kidane and Satima, suffers the lost of her family. The result of the killing of one of Kidane’s cows by a fisherman. (Sorry! I didn’t understand the tongue that his name was spoken in and couldn’t find his name in the credits.)
Sissako runs the English language in subtitles, as the characters speak in several languages including, French, English and those of the inhabitants of Timbuktu and the countryside where Kidane, Satima and Toya live.
The film was a nominee for several awards. The Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards, and a San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards.