Dinner and Film: Timbuktu
New York Times Critics’ Pick – 2014
Lulu’s Chinese Cuisine, 3011 Cerrillos Road (attached to Quality Inn)
5:00 p.m. – Happy Hour/Cash Bar
5:30 p.m. – Chinese Buffet Dinner
6: 15 p.m. – Introduction and moderated discussion with Tom McDermott (Former UN employee assigned to Africa), Martha Wallace and Adele La Brecque (former workers and Africa residents).
7:00 p.m. – Movie Begins (Film is 97 min.), 8:30 p.m. – Post-screening Discussion led by former CIR board member, Rob Reider
$40 includes Chinese Buffet and Film; $15 Film Only
The deadline to reserve for this event is past. Please call the office if you are still interested in attending: 505-982-4931
The movie, set in Mali and an Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film and an official selection in Cannes, examines jihadists and their beliefs.
“Timbuktu,” is an unflinching, quietly furious exploration of life under radical Islamist rule. It also makes a point about power that even nonextremist, democratically elected leaders would do well to keep in mind. The authority of the jihadists is cruel, but it is also absurd. The film examines the varieties of this absurdity with an eye that is calm, compassionate and remorseless. The most obvious vice exhibited by members of the militia controlling the desert city of Timbuktu in the name of Allah is hypocrisy.
In the course of the film, a couple accused of adultery are stoned to death. Members of the Islamic Police storm a house where music is being played, and one of the musicians (a woman, of course) is publicly whipped for the crime. When a jihadist’s offer of marriage is refused, he vows to take his would-be bride by force. When he does, the commanders inform the local imam that their interpretation of Muslim law is, by definition, the correct one. Might makes right, and the righteousness of the strong is an excuse for all kinds of indulgence.
Collectively, these warriors in the name of Allah are a bunch of bullies. They are indifferent to local customs and ignorant of many of the languages spoken by residents of Timbuktu, an ancient trading hub known for its cosmopolitanism. Individually, the fighters are sometimes sadistic, sometimes weak, sometimes kind and frequently confused. Inspired by the Islamist takeover of Timbuktu and other parts of northern Mali in 2012. With some adjustments, it could have been set in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria or Pakistan. But the glory of “Timbuktu” lies in its devotion to local knowledge, in the way it allows its gaze to wander away from violence toward images of beauty and grace.
Lulu’s Chinese Cuisine review: “The only real Chinese in New Mexico…?? After moving to NM from So. Cal, I was really disappointed with the Chinese food in this state. I had pretty much given up on it. I saw this place with a grand opening sign up and figured it couldn’t hurt to try, and I was glad I did. First off, you know it’s going to be good when your order is written down in Chinese by the waitstaff. I’ve tried several dishes here on several occasions, and each one has been excellent (Kung Pao Beef, Orange Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Egg Flower Soup, Hot & Sour Soup, Mushuu, Wontons, Spring Rolls, Fried Rice…) …this is one great restaurant.”