Timbuktu Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 6 Critics What's this?

  • Summary: Not far from Timbuktu, now ruled by the religious fundamentalists, Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima, his daughter Toya, and Issan, their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes when Kidane accidentally kills Amadou, the fisherman who slaughtered his beloved cow. He now has to face the new laws of the foreign occupants. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    May 25, 2014
    100
    In the hands of a master, indignation and tragedy can be rendered with clarity yet subtlety, setting hysteria aside for deeper, more richly shaded tones. Abderrahmane Sissako is just such a master.
  2. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    May 25, 2014
    83
    For all its value in bearing witness to the kind of atrocious acts that get but little attention on the world stage, this is not mere testimony, this is cleverly crafted and remarkably affecting storytelling.
  3. Reviewed by: John Bleasdale
    May 25, 2014
    80
    Sissako's film is at turns funny, poetic and deeply moving.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 25, 2014
    80
    Abderrahmane Sissako's passionate and visually beautiful film Timbuktu is a cry from the heart.
  5. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    May 25, 2014
    80
    This is in no way the remorselessly grim film its subject matter might lead you to expect – it’s full of life, irony, poetry and bitter unfairness. It demands respect, but it also earns it.
  6. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    May 25, 2014
    80
    The film’s methods are boldly unorthodox and its constantly alternating moods and shifts in tone from drama to humor, joy to tragedy can be disconcerting. It’s not a film for all audiences, but despite its eccentricities it is always watchable, thanks to strongly drawn characters and the soul-stirring poetry of its imagery.