Timbuktu is silent, the doors closed, the streets empty. No more music, tea or cigarettes. Religious fundamentalists are spreading fear in the region. In the dunes outside the city, Kidane enjoys a quiet life with his wife, daughter Toya and Issan, his cowherd. But their peace is short-lived; after accidentally killing a fisherman, Kidane must face the rough justice of those determined to defeat an open and tolerant Islam.
Jonathan Romney says that ‘The film is a panorama that constantly slips between stories and characters, building up its effect elliptically, all the better to hit us in the end with the full weight of its message.’
It won seven awards out of its eight nominations at the Cesar Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Music and Best Sound, thus setting the record for being the African film with the most awards ever.
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