The West African country of Mali is a birthplace of the blues, a musical tradition later carried by the transatlantic slave trade to America’s cotton fields.
Yet today, the music and musicians of Mali are in grave danger. As fundamentalist Islam and sharia law become more widespread, dance and secular music are prohibited, musical instruments are destroyed, and musicians are forced to flee their homeland. The film follows four artists—Fatoumata “Fatou” Diawara, Bassekou Kouyaté, Master Soumy, and Ahmed Ag Kaedi—who are using their music to stand up to extremism and inspire tolerance and peace. (2016, 93 min, digital)