Timbuktu Reviews

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December 4, 2019
As the story of a cross-section of the people living under the occupation of misogynistic Islamist extremists, you might expect Abderrahmane Sissako's Timbuktu to be bleak . It's the opposite. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE]
August 8, 2019
Told with disarming simplicity, it's a story of terror that quietly emerges from stark beauty.
July 5, 2019
This isn't a grand political statement; it's a whispered condemnation that carries with it a great and noble weight.
June 17, 2019
Sissako cuts his searing social realism with significant doses of absurdist comedy and dreamlike beauty.
April 5, 2019
A beautiful drama fuelled by a sense of urgent and righteous anger. But there's sadness here as well as hope.
November 10, 2018
A work of staggering dramatic and ethnographic lucidity: a crystal-clear ode to life in a harsh outpost of Mali, namely the northerly, desert-laden city of Timbuktu.
February 28, 2018
Obviously made on a low, low budget with many non-actors, this is nevertheless often visually gorgeous and feels painfully real.
November 13, 2017
Structural neatness is not simply an interpretive shortcut, but a token of Sissako's adroitness at pivoting between individual dramas and the overarching social and political systems to which they are so inextricably bound.
October 11, 2017
For a century or more the name Timbuktu has been shorthand for an impossibly remote exoticism, at least to Western ears, but with clarity and compassion Sissako dissolves any barriers to understanding, and insists on common cause.
March 7, 2017
Calling Sissako a brilliant filmmaker is an understatement.
July 19, 2016
Timbuktu is a film that should resonate for a long time to come.
June 28, 2016
A haunting warning cry from a great North African director about the jihadi invasion of Mali, Timbuktu is a message the rest of the world can't afford to ignore.
June 6, 2016
Abderrahmane Sissako can no longer be called one of the greatest African directors of our time; he has become, simply, one of the greatest directors of our time.
March 3, 2016
Suffers from a certain reductionism with respect to the jihadists but then again that is to be expected in an epoch when Islam is a dirty word almost universally. Could have been better but still worth seeing.
January 25, 2016
'Timbuktu' startles by acknowledging the humanity of jihadists, even as it tacitly condemns their dogmas and especially their violence.
December 30, 2015
Sissako doesn't get trapped in mockery, and it says a lot that a tone of ruefulness prevails.
December 30, 2015
Timbuktu, the thoughtful, Oscar-nominated foreign-language feature from Mauritania's superb filmmaker, Abderrahmane Sissako, is set in a confined, austere, sub-Saharan desert town with little resemblance to the metropolis of myth.
December 30, 2015
Abderrahmane Sissako, perhaps the most influential African filmmaker working today, delivers in his Oscar-nominated Timbuktu a message the world needs to hear right this minute: Most Muslims don't like jihadists, either.
December 30, 2015
It's skilful, sardonic, honourably humane. Are those qualities, today, enough?
December 30, 2015
The first thing a viewer notices about Malian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako's Timbuktu... is how beautiful it is, given its grim subject matter -- the occupation of the ancient West African region on the edge of the Sahara by jihadis.
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