There is no secret why this movie has been nominated for an academy award. A tear-wrenching story of how love prevails over all is what gives this film enough power to reach the masses. TIMBUKTU takes us into Mali, where religious rule has begun to inhabit the once peaceful lives of its citizens. Jihadists raid the towns forcing women to cover up, even telling them they must wear socks. People are arrested and punished for playing music, and children are no longer allowed to even play soccer. According to the religious fundamentalists, all of this has been done in the name of God. Near Timbuktu, in a neighboring town, Kidane, played by Ibrahim Ahmed, lives in peaceful solitude with his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed), and the shepherd boy Issan (Mehdi AG Mohamed). Spending their days in a quite patterned manner, herding cattle and caring for the goats is where they expend the greater of their time. When an altercation between Kidane and a distant resident turns serious, Kidane's now peaceful life has been turned upside down. Now subject to the Jihadists' rule and their interpretation of the law, he confronts fate without regret.
The premise of the film and what life really means confronts any viewer in a thought-provoking manner. Is it punishment for our wrongdoings or being stripped the liberty of being near the ones we love that we fear the most? Director, Abderrahmane Sissako displays the strength of one man's love for his family, and his willingness to do anything to defend them. From beginning to end, the film never exhibited a single moment of disappointment. Sissako's compelling story captivates from even the small details of clothing color, to the beautiful singing and instrument playing of the actors. A coercive portrayal of emotion, Abderranhmane says he gained some of his inspiration from an online video of a couple being stoned to death for having children and being unmarried. “I must testify in the hopes that no child will ever again have to learn their parents died because they loved each other.” TIMBUKTU is an extraordinary piece and must see.