Last year, when the MUJAO (Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa) declared a ban on music in Northern Mali, musicians responded with defiance and perseverance. That attitude is reflected in a quote from Fadimta “Disco” Walet Oumar, the lead singer of Tartit: “They want to ban music? They will have to kill us first.” They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile, an upcoming film, directed by Johanna Schwartz, takes its name from that quote. The movie just reached its Kickstarter goal and is set to complete filming by April 2014.
They Will Have to Kill Us First boasts an impressive list of Malian musicians and facilitators as its stars and contributors. Other than Disco, kora players Toumani and Sidiki Diabate, the “Nightingale of the North,” Khaira Arby, and Manny Ansar, director of the world-renowned Festival in the Desert (which is happily returning in 2014), will also be featured. Tinariwen manager Andy Morgan, who recently wrote Music, Culture and Conflict in Mali, will work as a consultant for the film. Noted Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré and Afropop Hall of Famer Bassekou Kouyate will also be interviewed and involved in the creation of the movie’s soundtrack. Needless to say, we’re happy that the movie has received its full funding and are very excited to see the final product.
Check out the Kickstarter campaign trailer below: