TrustMovies hasn't yet seen Estonia's Tangerines nor Argentina's Wild Tales, but of the three BFLF Oscar nominees he has seen -- including the beautifully photographed but terribly obvious Ida and the tell-us-again-how-corrupt-and-bullying-modern-Russia can-be Leviathan -- Mauritania's small-scale but gorgeous and engrossing TIMBUKTU by veteran director Abderrahmane Sissako is by far the best. It shows us things we have not previously seen, especially what the incursion of Islam fundamentalists into a town in Africa means to its inhabitants (rather than what this kind of fundamentalism might do to our own western sensibility), and it does this in a manner that is thought-provoking, comic, sad and, yes, frustrating. This film is also remarkably beautiful to watch.
Elia Suleiman. This shouldn't be surprising, as the two filmmakers have subtlety, style and an inquiring mind in common. Both hope to understand conflicting viewpoints while already understanding how difficult this can be.
Cohen Media Group, running just 97 vital minutes and spoken in five different languages, including English (with subtitles when not) -- opens this coming Wednesday, January 28, in New York City (at Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinema) and in Los Angeles (at Laemmle's Royal) on Friday, January 30, and then at other Laemmle theaters in the weeks following.