They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile

Rated NR 105 min. 2016

Music is the beating heart of Malian culture, but when Islamic jihadists took control of northern Mali in 2012, they enforced one of the harshest interpretations of sharia law by banning all forms of music. Radio stations were destroyed, instruments burned, and Mali's musicians faced torture, even death. Overnight, the country's revered musicians were forced into hiding or exile, where most remain -- even now. But rather than laying down their instruments, these courageous artists fought back, standing up for their freedoms and using music as a weapon against the ongoing violence that has ravaged their homeland.

Film Credits

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Director: Johanna Schwartz

Writer: Johanna Schwartz and Andy Morgan

Producer: Johanna Schwartz, Sarah Mosses, John Schwartz and Kat Amara Korba

Cast: Khaira Arby, Songhoy Blues, Moussa Sidi and Fadimata 'Disco' Walet Oumar

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