Members' ratings and comments for Timbuktu shown on 28th October 2015
Members’ rating: 75.8% A-23, B-21, C-11, D-4, E-1, 2 unrated. 60 votes from 102 members who signed in. [Note these are the personal views of members]
Members’ comments: [We have again sequenced the comments by the rating given but this time from lowest to highest]
‘D’ – (fair): Good photography but weak ending. Too brutal for me - not much storyline. Too slow – threatened to burst into life but never really got going. It didn’t get together very well – while it was sad to see the tragic events unfold, I had no sympathy for those on the receiving end of their punishments.
‘C’ – (good): Fairly slow – it reminds me of why I have become an atheist. Enjoyable – incomprehensible plot. Powerful and disturbing: well made, loved the football match with no ball – pure poetry. Heart-wrenching – is this really the world we live in? Less intense than Whiplash, but still very tense – amazing cinematography. Not a heartwarming tale, but the “forbidden” music was lovely. Subject very harrowing, but a good film. A film that needed to be made, but the wrong people see it! The jihadists seemed to do the bad things out of boredom: the part that brought a tear was the footballers.
‘B’ – (very good): Extremely thought-provoking (4 other members agreed with this) – hard to believe that it’s actually happening in our time and not a fiction! Difficult to understand how humans can do that to others in the name of their god: beautifully filmed. Beware of the future. Very grim story. Protect us from those who think they know best! Hard-hitting and depressing. Well crafted but barbaric film. So heart-breaking – too shocked to say (by ending). Beautifully shot – but not a happy tale. A sad world we live in. It showed what a cruel outfit they are. Compelling and eye-opening – makes us realise how much we take for granted. Harrowing. Fantastic photography – quite simply a moving film – a stark example of the reality of the lives of others: football with no ball especially poignant, along with the punishment for enjoying music. Terrifying in its personal intensity but struggling to make sense of a society – is it just a “brief” dislocation of society or a “100 years war”? The hope lay in the Arts – the soul on earth still escaping through football, ballet, song and nature.
‘A’ – (excellent): Stunning, compelling, disturbing, heart-breaking – thank you for including this in this season’s programme. A powerful film – all in the name of religion. If the aim of Art is to hold a mirror to life, then this film is great art – we now know what occupation by jihadis means and being 12A rated, just enough violence was needed to show us. Beautiful, very sad, great music. Very moving, beautifully shot: much work for us to do. An exceptional film: all the more powerful for the wit and satire in its portrayal of the pointlessness and wanton cruelty of life under the jihadis as well as enough of the horror to hit you hard. A story that needs telling over and over again; all the elements of a very skilled director. Like nothing I’ve ever seen. Where is tolerance? – very upsetting. Simple, grim story – stunningly told. Disturbing: magnificent camerawork. Beautifully shot, but so sad. An amazing study of beauty and savagery, modern and medieval. Wonderful film – life under jihad and [some interpretations of] Islam is sheer hell it seems. Disturbing film that makes one aware of others’ plight. Powerful and tragic story beautifully shot – enlightening about Mali. Deeply moving and humane film full of haunting and evocative images. Beautiful photography and good acting and music. So much for religion! Great film, but… Do we know how lucky we are? : it’s probably even worse in Syria. Marvellous though difficult to watch at times – stunning photography. Alarming to see what the advance of the jihadists can do!
Unrated: Thoroughly depressing – I have no idea how to rate it. An outstanding and thoughtful film illustrating the range of beliefs and resulting actions across the Islamist mind set. The appalling vindictiveness and cruelty of very ignorant men justifying their power and actions in the name of Allah was well demonstrated: the impact was greater in underplaying the primaeval horrors actually taking place daily in the region: it would be good for this film to reach a wider receptive audience.
[One member also complained that the white subtitles were difficult to read against the sand-coloured background.]