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The Ink Road: Teaching Methods of Timbuktu
Presented by the Timbuktu Educational Foundation, this documentary tells the spectacular story of the teaching methodology utilized by the scholars of the University of Timbuktu from the making of the ink to the development of many branches of knowledge. TEF uses historical footage, re-enactments, and a remarkable exposition of art, architecture, and interviews with African scholars to recount the rise and the importance of the University of Timbuktu and its teaching methodology.
Keita: The Heritage of the Griot
Based on one of the most important works of African oral literature, an elderly griot (storyteller) named Djeliba Kouyate appears before young Mabo Keita and begins telling him the origin of his name and its importance in the history of his country. Mabo is instantly fascinated and spends more and more time with the griot, neglecting his schoolwork and upsetting his mother, who insists he concentrate on his European education. The film alternates between modern scenes and dramatizations of the 13th-century epic.
Living Memory: Six Sketches of Mali Today
A documentary about Mali’s ancient culture and its place in Mali today. The six sections are arts, culture on display, style, architecture, contemporary artists, and music. The architecture” segment is esp. compelling and vivid: in Djenne a thousand men, women and children turn out to restore the plaster on the great mosque in a few hours, one of the most spectacular but seldom witnessed events in Mali. This beautiful mosque is the world’s largest adobe structure.
The Manuscripts of Timbuktu
Featuring commentary by African scholars, reenactments, and an original musical score by Vieux Farka Touré, this documentary critiques this limited view by demonstrating that Timbuktu was once home to an advanced civilization. It was a leading cultural, economic, scientific and religious center that made a significant and lasting impact on Africa and the world before European intervention. This film establishes the importance of preserving thousands of ancient manuscripts as an empowering legacy for African scholarship today.
Throw Down Your Heart
Multiple Grammy-winner Bela Fleck travels to Mali searching for the roots of the banjo. Part road movie, part historical documentary, this fascinating film demonstrates the power of music and musicians to reach across cultural boundaries and the limitations of language to create an instant and abiding connection.
Timbuktu: the Untold Story
Original footage of Timbuktu presented along a historical timeline, including: Ancient Manuscripts dating back to the 9th Century, both from public and family collections; Historic buildings of the University System of Timbuktu: Sankore, Sidi Yahya, & Djingeber; Interviews with scholars of Timbuktu and professors in the United States on the significance of the Timbuktu Manuscripts.