Posts Tagged ‘timbuktu’

Songlines World Cinema | June (#108)

Posted on May 11th, 2015 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


The Dead Lands, Phoenix, Timbuktu are all reviewed in the current issue.

We’ve collected trailers from all the film reviews in the current issue (June #108), written by our world cinema editor, Yoram Allon.

In Cinemas

The Dead Lands
Dir: Toa Fraser; UK release May 29 (Soda Pictures)
Though the narrative feels a little ‘by the numbers’, what remains captivating throughout is the effective performances, stunning scenery and sheer pleasure of witnessing a genre film spoken in Maori.


Dir: Abderrahmane Sissako; UK release May 22 (Artificial Eye)
It is very rare for a feature film to capture so eloquently the contours of a devastatingly sad political situation. Read more about Tumbuktu.


Dir: Christian Petzold; UK release May 8 (Soda Pictures)
The quantity and quality of Holocaust-related films has increased in recent years, with narratives continuing to focus on identity crises and survivor trauma. These issues are played out in full in Petzold’s immaculately performed new film.

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‘Timbuktu’ soundtrack featuring Fatoumata Diawara & Amine Bouhafa

Posted on May 1st, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .


Composed by Fatoumata Diawara & Amine Bouhafa, ‘Timbuktu Fasso’ features on the soundtrack to Abderrahmane Sissako’s Oscar-nominated Timbuktu

In the new issue (June #108) Yoram Allon speaks to the Mauritanian filmmaker about the place of music in the film (below is an extract from the issue feature).

Nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Academy Awards and the recipient of numerous international accolades, Timbuktu presents a place ruled by religion, and a people traumatised by division.

In the film’s most heart-breaking scene, Fatoumata Diawara, an accomplished actress in her own right, plays an intensely powerful cameo as ‘la chanteuse’, a local young woman who is publicly flogged after being caught during an innocent evening with friend simply singing and playing music.

The music in Timbuktu is not exclusively Malian, or even West African, in origin, but is added to by sounds from Arabic-influenced North Africa and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Sissako explains that a certain amount of commercial necessity lay in these decisions. “Although this is clearly a specifically Malian story, we needed to find ways of connecting with a wider international audience so that it could travel and be seen as a more universal cautionary, tragic tale.”

Timbuktu is released by Artificial Eye on May 29. Read our review and feature in the new issue.

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New issue preview: June (#108)

Posted on April 24th, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .


A Polar Storm; Canada’s most famous Inuit throat singer, Tanya Tagaq, has been stunning audiences since first collaborating with Björk. We talk to the controversial figure on her revolutionary ideals.

Other features include this year’s Songlines Music Awards winners, our annual guide to the best music festivals around the world, a Beginner’s Guide to Boubacar Traoré, plus nearly one hundred of the latest CD, book and world cinema reviews.

The issue’s Top of the World covermount CD includes brand new tracks from Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni ba, Lau and Gisela João, plus a playlist from Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos, who gets stuck into some rebetikacumbia and African disco.

On sale in the UK from May 1. Click here to purchase your copy now.

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Bono attends this year’s Festival au Désert

Posted on February 20th, 2012 in Recent posts by .

Words by Louise Ungless

The annual Festival au Désert is a celebration of Malian music and the nomadic Touareg culture. Inspired by traditional Touareg tribe gatherings, it now features some of the best world music artists. Despite it’s growth as an international festival, you can still expect a strong Touareg presence.

The festival is known to be one of the remotest festivals in the world and takes place in the Timbuktu region of Mali, but it still manages to attract over 1,000 foreigners and tourists to the fringes of the Sahara. With recent unrest in the region and the kidnapping of tourists relating to al-Qaeda, there was curiosity as to whether foreigners would avoid the festival this year. Travel advice for this region is “Do not travel”; with a killing of a tourist in Timbuktu and further military operations and attacks being led by the Touareg rebel movement, the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA).

However, the festival still went ahead and was considered safe due to strong safety measures in Northern Mali and an increased safety presence on the site. Although the number of foreigners was much less this year due to security fears and travel warnings, the festival still received approximately 350 foreigners, with a crowd from 60 different countries.

The festival had an amazing line up, such as Vieux Farka Touré and Bassekou Kouyaté. On top of that, Bono from U2 made a surprise appearance on stage with Tinariwen during the opening night. Check out the YouTube video below, with Bono singing (or shall we say screaming) ‘Viva Tinariwen’ and ‘Viva Timbuktu’. We’re not entirely sure whether his singing actually fits with the music, and his dancing looks somewhat awkward, but it’s nice to see that renowned European artists still made an appearance this year to promote and support the festival and the Northern region of Mali.



To see a full Afropop report on the festival, click here. (

For more information on the Festival au Désert, click here. (

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