'Timbuktu' a haunting look at life under religious extremists | Miami Herald Miami Herald

February 25, 2015 1:10 PM

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Even though the atrocities committed by radical jihadists dominate the headlines and airwaves, few in the West know what it's like to live under their reign. "Timbuktu," Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako's Oscar-nominated vision of an African village overtaken by religious extremists, is a moving, haunting and beautifully shot peek behind the closed cultural curtain.

Set in the Sahara desert country of Mali, which with French help won a war against radicals taking over the country in 2012, "Timbuktu" opens with shots of jihadists firing at a frightened gazelle and then using local tribal, black African figurines - some of which are of topless female forms - as t...

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