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Film Series Goes to ‘Timbuktu’

by Rod Jones

The Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s series will continue its 34th year at 2 p.m. Oct. 4 with Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu” in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of Meinders School of Business. The school is located at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

Admission to all films in the series is free. The series is supported in part by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund and endowments through OCU and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Africa’s most illustrious living filmmaker, Sissako directed the Oscar-nominated “Timbuktu” to blend politics and poetry in a lyrical examination of the repercussions of the jihadists in northern Mali. In the film, Kidane lives peacefully with his family not far from fundamentalist leaders. Sissako uses meticulously composed imagery, imaginative metaphor and a measured, impressionistic narrative to render Kidane’s family life. The director never demonizes the zealots as monsters — they remain recognizably human, albeit profoundly and cruelly misguided.

The theme of this year’s season is based on Viktor Frankl’s classic book “Man’s Search for Meaning.”Harbour Winn, director of the series, said the theme is intended to help participants come to understand the purpose of suffering.

“The films in this series stress the importance of an individual’s attitude to existence,” Winn said. “Even when life seems restricted by external forces, we can choose the attitude with which we live and make meaning, to find value.”

A discussion session follows each film screening for those who wish to participate. The remaining dates and films in the series are:

* Oct. 18, Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Ugetsu”

* Nov. 1, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s “Two Days, One Night”

* Jan. 24, Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blow-Up”

* Feb. 7, Ritesh Batra’s “The Lunchbox”

* Feb. 21, Asghar Farhadi’s “About Elly”

* March 6, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan”

For more information about the series, call (405) 208-5472 or visit okcu.edu/film-lit.

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