Abderrahmane Sissako

France, Mauritania , 2014 / 97 min / French, Arabic, Bambara, English, Songhay and Tamasheq OV with French & Dutch subt. (OV with FR & NL subt.) / Drama

Not far from Timbuktu, now ruled by religious fundamentalists, Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima, his daughter Toya, and Issan, their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even football have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes when Kidane accidentally kills Amadou, the fisherman who slaughtered GPS, his beloved cow. He now has to face the new laws of the foreign occupants.


Sat 16/03 16:30 Cinémathèque OV with FR & NL subt. Public

“African director Abderrahmane Sissako’s insightful drama about a family and a city shattered by bigotry and violence teeters between hope and despair.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 28.05.2015

“In the hands of a master, indignation and tragedy can be rendered with clarity yet subtlety, setting hysteria aside for deeper, more richly shaded tones. Abderrahmane Sissako is just such a master.” Jay Weissberg, Variety, 16.01.2015

  • NSFC Award for Best Foreign Language Film, National Society of Film Critics Awards, 2016 (USA)
  • Most Valuable Movie of the Year, Cinema for Peace Award, 2015 (Germany)
  • Best Editing, César Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Original Screenplay, César Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Director, César Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Film, César Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Sound, César Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Cinematography, César Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Original Music, César Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Film, Globes de Cristal Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Grand Prix de l’Union de la critique de cinéma, 2015 (Belgium)
  • Best Film, Lumière Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Director, Lumière Awards, 2015 (France)
  • Best Foreign Language Film, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 2015 (USA)
  • PFS Peace Award, Political Film Society, 2015 (USA)
  • Best Feature Film, Trophées Francophones du Cinéma, 2015 (Canada)
  • Best Non-English Language Film, Utah Film Critics Association Awards, 2015 (USA)
  • Special Jury Award, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, 2014 (United Arab Emirates)
  • Best World Cinema, African-American Film Critics Association, 2014 (USA)
  • Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Festival de Cannes, 2014 (France)
  • François Chalais Award, Festival de Cannes, 2014 (France)
  • Silver Hugo for Best Director, Chicago International Film Festival, 2014 (USA)
  • Best Actor for Ibrahim Ahmed, Durban International Film Festival, 2014 (South Africa)
  • Best Film, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics, 2014 (France)
  • In Spirit for Freedom Award – Best Film, Jerusalem Film Festival, 2014 (Israel)
  • Best Non-U.S. Release, Online Film Critics Society Awards, 2014 (USA)
Cast & Credits
Ibrahim Ahmed, Toulou Kiki, Abel Jafri, Fatoumata Diawara, Hichem Yacoubi, Kettly Noël, Mehdi AG Mohamed, Layla Walet Mohamed, Adel Mahmoud Cherif, Salem Dendou
Abderrahmane Sissako, Kessen Tall
Sofiane El Fani
Philippe Welsh, Roman Dymny, Thierry Delors
Sébastien Birchler
Amine Bouhafa
Les Films du Worso, Dune Vision
Arte France Cinéma, Orange Studio
Le Pacte

Abderrahmane Sissako was born in Kiffa, Mauritania, in 1961 and raised in Mali, his father’s homeland. When he returned to Mauritania in 1980, the emotional and financial difficulties of adjustment made him turn to literature and film. A study grant allowed him to attend the Institute of the University of Moscow. Le Jeu (1989), first presented as a graduation assignment, won the prize for best short at the Giornate del Cinema Africano of Perugia in 1991. In 1993, October was shown at Locarno and Un Certain Regard and won prizes the world over. His film Waiting for Happiness was screened at Cannes 2002 and was winner of the FIPRESCI award for best film in the Un Certain Regard section. It was also shown at the New York Film Festival in 2002 and won the Grand Prize at FESPACO in 2003. The overtly political Bamako (2006) looked at the the legacy of colonialism and the lopsided relationship between the first and third worlds. His 2014 film Timbuktu was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, garnered a 2015 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and swept the 2015 César Awards in France winning seven awards, including Best Director and Best Film. Abderrahmane Sissako thus became the fist African director to be awarded the highest award in French cinema.

  • 2014 – Timbuktu
  • 2010 – Je vous souhaite la pluie (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2008 – Tiya’s Dream (segment dans la collection de courts-métrages « 8 » / Segment in the short film collection “8” / Segment in der Kurzfilmsammlung „8”)
  • 2008 – Dignity (segment dans la collection de courts-métrages « Dignity » / Segment in the short film collection “Dignity” / Segment in der Kurzfilmsammlung „Dignity”)
  • 2006 – Bamako
  • 2002 – En attendant le bonheur
  • 1998 – La case de l’oncle Doc: Rostov-Luanda (1 épisode de la série documentaire / 1 episode of the documentary TV series / 1 Folge der Dokumentarfernsehserie)
  • 1998 – La vie sur terre
  • 1997 – Africa Dreaming: Sabriya (1 épisode de la série TV / 1 episode of the TV series / 1 Folge der Fernsehserie)
  • 1997 – Documenta X – Die Filme (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 1993 – Octobre (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 1989 – Le jeu (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)