Oscars: 'Timbuktu' Selected as Mauritania's Foreign Film Entry

'Timbuktu'

Director Abderrahmane Sissako's drama premiered at Cannes

Jihadist drama Timbuktu will be Mauritania’s entry into the foreign language Oscar race.

Director Abderrahmane Sissako’s emotional drama about the occupation of Timbuktu by Islamic rebels had its world premiere in competition at Cannes. Though it represents the Malian city, the film was shot in Mauritania.

It tells the story of a family torn apart by the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

The Hollywood Reporter’s critic Deborah Young called the project “boldly unorthodox” in her review of the film. “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,” Young wrote. 

It is the fifth film from the France-based Sissako, who was born in Mauritania and raised in Mali.

Cohen Media Group picked up U.S. rights to the film during Cannes.

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