Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
With Cannes Looming, Here's a List of African Diaspora Films That Have Won the Palme d'Or (Have You Seen Them?) With Cannes Looming, Here's a List of African Diaspora Films That Have Won the Palme d'Or (Have You Seen Them?) Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks) Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks) Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Amber Rose, Eva Marcille & Drew Sidora Rally Around Tragedy in 'Sister Code' (In Theaters May 8) Amber Rose, Eva Marcille & Drew Sidora Rally Around Tragedy in 'Sister Code' (In Theaters May 8) Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) TV One Shores Up 2015-2016 Slate with 8 New Series, 16 Original Movies + New Production Partnerships TV One Shores Up 2015-2016 Slate with 8 New Series, 16 Original Movies + New Production Partnerships 'Walking Dead' Creator Says Rick and Morgan's Reunion Will Be "The Spine" of Season 6 'Walking Dead' Creator Says Rick and Morgan's Reunion Will Be "The Spine" of Season 6 Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Quietly Grosses Over $1 Million in USA Box Office - Rare for an African Film Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Quietly Grosses Over $1 Million in USA Box Office - Rare for an African Film Rumorville: Ernie Hudson Circling T'Chaka Role in Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie Rumorville: Ernie Hudson Circling T'Chaka Role in Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie People in Chicago Are Not Happy with Spike Lee’s 'Chiraq' People in Chicago Are Not Happy with Spike Lee’s 'Chiraq' 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Cannes 2014 - Early Reactions To Abderrahmane Sissako's In Competition Selection 'Timbuktu'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 14, 2014 at 5:00PM

Cannes 2014 - Early Reactions To Abderrahmane Sissako's In Competition Selection 'Timbuktu'
0
Still from the set of Abderrahmane Sissako's TIMBUKTU

The 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the world's most prestigious, kicked off today, May 14, and will run for the next 10 days, through May 24. Overall African Diaspora participation at this year's event is as low as it typically is, so no surprises there. 

S&A won't have a presence at the festival this yea; it's a costly trip which I can't justify; plus the few films that are of interest to this blog - given its stated mission - often will travel and screen at other film festivals closer to home. But I do hope to gain access to the films of interest before then.

In the meantime, I'll be sharing immediate and abbreviated reactions to those films from those critics who are at the festival, as they come in via social networking sites like Twitter, starting with Mauritanian-born, Mali-raised filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako, whose latest feature, Timbuktu, was selected to screen In Competition at this year's event. 

His 5th solo directorial effort, Sissako's Timbuktu was inspired by the real-life story of the 2012 stoning of a young unmarried couple, by Islamists, in a Northern Mali town called Aguelhok. Their crime? They weren't officially married, and thus, in the eyes of their executioners, were committing a crime against divine law. That summer, the couple was brought to the center of the town, placed in holes in the ground, and stoned to death in front of hundreds of watchers - a horribly tragic incident that drew international media attention, and motivated at least one filmmaker to address on film.

"Aguelhok is neither Damascus nor Teheran," Sissako said in a pre-production statement over a year ago, adding that, "and in no way am I looking to over-emotionalize these events for the purposes of a moving film. What I do want to do is bear witness as a filmmaker. Because I will never be able to say I didn't know. And because of what I know now, I must tell this story - in the hope that no child may ever have to learn this same lesson in the future. That their parents could die, simply because they love each other."

The film stars Ibrahim Ahmed, Toulou Kiki, Abel Jafri and Fatoumata Diawara.

It had its first screening today; below you'll find a few Twitterific reactions from those who attended the screening:

So, thus far, mostly favorable reactions to the film, which is obviously a good thing, and only makes me even more anxious to see it eventually!

Sissako is certainly no stranger to Cannes. Along with the late Ousmane SembèneSouleymane CisséIdrissa Ouedraogo and Djibril Diop Mambety, he's one of a few filmmakers from Sub-Saharan Africa to enjoy real and rooted international reach. His 2002 film, Waiting for Happiness (Heremakono), was screened at the Cannes Film Festival that year, as an official selection in the Un Certain Regard program, and went on to win the FIPRESCI Prize. His 2007 film Bamako, also received much international attention, including a César Award nomination (France's equivalent of the Academy Award) for its star Aïssa Maïga, as well as a Lumiere Award for Best French-Language Film, which it won.

Watch a clip from Timbuktu below:

This article is related to: Abderrahmane Sissako, Cannes Film Festival


Shadow & ActNewsletter