TOUBA returns to FilmScene

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 10, 2014 5:00 AM

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After three sold-out screenings in the fall of 2013, the feature documentary Touba is back  this weekend for a special encore presentation at FilmScene, 118 E. College St.

The film will be screened at 6 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. April 13. Tickets range from $6.50 to $8.50.

Emmy-award winning cinematographer and Iowa City-based filmmaker Scott Duncan will also be in attendance to not only discuss the fil but also a related photography exhibit that will be on display throughout April at FilmScene.

The film outlines the annual Grand Magaal pilgrimage of 1 million Sufi Muslims to the holy Senegalese city of Touba. It allows viewers to have an inside look at the Mouride Brotherhood, one of West Africa's most elusive organizations and one of the world's largest Sufi communities.

Pilgrims travel from all over the world to pay homage to Cheikh Amadou Bamba because of the national movement that was inspired by his nonviolent resistance to the French colonial persecution of Muslims in the late-19th century. Freedom of religious expression is still practiced by many of his followers today.

Duncan shot the documentary and photography project over the last seven years with director E. Chai Vasarhelyi; he first visited Touba in Senegal in 2006 to take footage for another documentary.

In a statement on FilmScene's website, Duncan said, "The freedom and truth inherently living in each moment, person, or phenomenon is the gold I seek. It is the natural discovery that drives me forward. The possibility of documenting energy in its most authentic state ignites my passion. I want the raw, the real, the most simple and basic aspects of the most complex moments. I can see these details, and I can capture them to share with the world. This is what I found in creating Touba, the cinematography and the still photography."

— by Samantha Gentry

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