Timbuktu is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful film from director Abderrahmane Sissako. Set in Mali, it is beautiful for the eyes, beautiful for the ears, and beautiful for the heart. Timely, compassionate, thought-provoking.
I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever believed another person “isn’t doing it right,” and everyone who’s ever felt judged for “not doing it right” (whatever that “it” might be).
Though we missed most of the New Zealand International Film Festival because of our trip to Maine, we did catch Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War on closing night. I loved it even more than Ida (every shot in both is composed like a photograph I’d want to spend time in front of at a museum) because of the music. Highly recommend you see these in a theater if you can!
There are a lot of things that art, broadly speaking, does for me. During tough times especially, I appreciate the opportunity to get beyond words and into something deeper, vaster, and paradoxically more accessible, if less explicable.
Here are four dance performances that illuminate the challenge of staying on one’s own path, which to me often feels a lot like going against the grain. The differences, gross or subtle, between what I believe and what I value, and how I live. The various arguing inner voices, the wrestling-with-angels, the sleepless nights.
I highly recommend watching full-screen with a good headset or speakers. I have to believe the third was inspired by the second, but who knows? The last one gives me the most hope, though I reject the implication that we need to buy anything in order to liberate ourselves, as it were.
I’d love to hear how you interpret any or all of these performances, how the lyrics resonate with you (or not – honestly I’m so moved by the physical performances it’s hard for me to pay attention to the lyrics!), and/or to see any art you’ve made to represent the struggle of remaining true to yourself when it feels like you’re supposed to stay within the lines. ❤
I just caught a fascinating performance on KALW, a live interpretation of an essay written by an inmate comparing and contrasting two photographs of movie screens with eerie music in the background… was hoping I’d be able to Google up the photographs described and was thrilled to find a video of the entire performance: