The big screen documentary Mali Blues tells the story of the the West African country of Mali, which is a cradle of the blues, a musical tradition later carried by the transatlantic slave trade to America’s cotton fields. Yet today, the viewers (if there are any) are supposed to care that the music and musicians of Mali are in grave danger. As fundamentalist Islam becomes more widespread, secular music is prohibited, instruments are destroyed and musicians are forced to flee their homeland. Mali Blues follows four artists. Fatoumata “Fatou” Diawara is a rising star on the global pop scene, memorably featured in Abderrahmane Sissako’s acclaimed drama Timbuktu. Bassehou Kouyaté is a celebrated ngoni player and traditional griot. Master Soumy is a young street rapper. Ahmed Ag Kaedi is a Tuareg bandleader and guitar virtuoso. Each artist combines musical traditions with contemporary influences, using music to stand up to extremism and inspire peace.
Watch the Mali Blues trailer below.