Directed by Zola Maseko

Mali, South Africa, 2009 , 74 min.

The Manuscripts of Timbuktu directed by Zola Maseko (Drum, The Life and Times of Sarah Baartman) brings to life the historical city of Timbuktu, which flourished as part of the Mali Empire as a great center of commerce, learning, and religion. Scholars, doctors, judges, priests, and other learned men both wrote and owned manuscripts containing the latest knowledge in the fields of physics, astronomy, medicine, mathematics, judicial law, government, and theology. Local families wrote their histories in chronicles known as tarikhs. Thousands of these manuscripts of learning and family history are preserved to this day, including the written work of one of Africa’s greatest scholars, Ahmed Baba (1556-1627). In the film, historians, imams, and experts on the Timbuktu manuscripts tell the fascinating tales of this African city, each from the perspective of his specialized field of study. Their stories are interspersed with creative dramatizations of the life of Ahmed Baba, played by the actor Eriq Ebouaney (Lumumba, The Forest). For anyone interested in history and African identity, this film is a revelation.

Sponsored by African Creations LLC, African Women’s Coalition,¬†Costello’s Travel Caff√©, Ko-Falen Cultural Center, and Senegalese Association of Portland & S.W. Washington