Timbuktu, Mali, is governed by religious fundamentalists. The powerless people suffer from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. In town, music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his family. But their destiny changes when Kidane accidentally kills Amadou, the fisherman who has slaughtered his beloved cow. He now has to face the new laws of the foreign occupants.
»I hope to have something like hope in my films. One can ban music, but the strongest music is what we hear in our head. You can ban soccer, but you cannot prevent the choreography of soccer in our mind. The woman in my film who sings when she is whipped: that is the strength of life.« (Abderrahmane Sissako)
Born in Kiffa, Mauritania, in 1961 and raised in Mali. The emotional and financial difficulties of his youth made him turn to literature and film. A study grant allowed him to attend the Institute of the University of Moscow. He asserted himself with his short film, October, which was shown at Locarno and went on to win several international prizes. Waiting for Happiness, his debut feature, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.