Salafistes

Salafistes is, from start to finish, a gruesome film. Originally shot in Timbuktu after the town fell under jihadist control in 2012, the documentary takes place over the course of four years—first, with live footage of life under Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali; later, using propaganda videos from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in 2014. Interspersed with the scenes of violence are rare interviews with some of salafism’s most prominent, and radical, theologians, including political leaders of Al-Qaeda in Mauritania and Mali, as they are asked a series of political and philosophical questions: How do you regard democracy? (“Against Islam.”) Women? (“Irrational, and half the worth of a man.”) Homosexuality? (“Against human nature.”) America? (“9/11 was deserved.”)

—Maddy Crowell, “Salafistes.” The Point. April 9, 2019.