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Timbuktu (2014) — MauritaniaTimbuktu (2014) — Mauritania

           This drama by director-writer Abderrahmane Sissaki of Mauritania shows what happens when jihadists take over the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali (which actually happened in 2012). Women must wear gloves and socks. Smoking and music will get you a public whipping. One couple is buried up to their necks and stoned to death for adultery. Soccer is prohibited. The story focuses on a family of herders that lives in the sand dunes on the outskirts of town. They struggle to live according to the ancient ways of their culture, while incorporating elements of modern society like mobile phones and resisting religious extremism. This film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2015 Oscars, won two awards at Cannes, and has a whopping 98% rating on the Tomatometer. The film is in French, Arabic, Bambara, Tuareg, English, and Songhay, which polyglot mashup indicates the cultural clashes at play.

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