Cannes 2014: ‘Timbuktu’ a devastating parable of contemporary Africa

“The opening scenes of Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu present jihadists taking potshots at female sculptures with their AK-47s, leaving one with half a face, yet its breasts emphasized. It’s a visual statement that remains at the core of the film as practical villagers learn to live under the stresses of sharia and the local thugs who enforce it. Based on the true events of a filmed, yet under-publicized stoning of a young couple in Mali, Timbuktu displays a harrowing, yet briefly humorous drama of Islamic militancy and what it means to lead a religious life.”

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