Mali Blues centres around Mali-born world musician, Fatoumata Diawara through her dark past which has influenced her irreplaceable passion for music. The documentary follows her through writing and rehearsing for her first ever concert in her home country Mali for the Festival of Niger 2015.

German Director Lutz Gregor captures a stunning music culture in Mali where the blues thrives. The country’s hardships are the experiences of these musicians. As creators of artistic expression, they have been violently threatened and ordered to leave the country due to their songs of protest and activism against radical Islamics.

Fataoumata and her fellow Mali- born musicians do not see these threats as a barrier to creating music or creative flow. They continue to create music which colours the country’s resilience to the group who is attempting to undermine them and the citizens of Mali.

The documentary is coated with lively and warm music and equally impressive are the dazzling colours of outfits and decor. It’s a bright and warm film that pushes the issues of a country’s crisis to the forefront while not losing sight of what means the most to these musicians. This is their right to artistic expression in writing, playing and singing music.

Is Mali Blues essential festival viewing?

A beautiful and soulful doc with mesmerizing sound and music. The film is also an astonishing testament to how Malian musicians and artists resist against the country’s socio-political climate in order to pursue their passion for music.

Mali Blues screening times

Mali Blues Trailer

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