April 2017
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RHYTHMS ON & OFF THE SCREEN, FIRST FEATURE AWARD

Mali Blues

LUTZ GREGOR
Germany, 2016
92 minutes, Color
Official website

Although this documentary features many lively performances, the story is heartbreaking. Lutz Gregor follows a quartet of Mali musicians—Fatoumata Diawara, Bassekou Kouyaté, rapper Master Soumy, and Ahmed Ag Kaedi—now exiled from the political instability in the north, where Islamist extremists have banned music and threaten to cut off musicians' fingers. "I cannot imagine a life without music," says Tuareg guitarist Ag Kaedi. Declaring that "we sing for peace," the musicians forge ahead. The hypnotic Diawara strings her Fender Stratocaster and teaches her son to feel the rhythm as they play together. Kouyaté defies tradition by amplifying his ngoni, an ancestor of the banjo. Soumy is perhaps most compelling as he uses his griot skills, demanding that the radicals "explain your Islam." The constant pressure makes the concert at the Niger River Festival at the end of the film all the more triumphant.—Dave Nuttycombe

In English, French, Bambara, Tamasheq with English subtitles

RHYTHMS ON & OFF THE SCREEN, FIRST FEATURE AWARD

Mali Blues

LUTZ GREGOR
Germany, 2016
92 minutes, Color
Official website

Although this documentary features many lively performances, the story is heartbreaking. Lutz Gregor follows a quartet of Mali musicians—Fatoumata Diawara, Bassekou Kouyaté, rapper Master Soumy, and Ahmed Ag Kaedi—now exiled from the political instability in the north, where Islamist extremists have banned music and threaten to cut off musicians' fingers. "I cannot imagine a life without music," says Tuareg guitarist Ag Kaedi. Declaring that "we sing for peace," the musicians forge ahead. The hypnotic Diawara strings her Fender Stratocaster and teaches her son to feel the rhythm as they play together. Kouyaté defies tradition by amplifying his ngoni, an ancestor of the banjo. Soumy is perhaps most compelling as he uses his griot skills, demanding that the radicals "explain your Islam." The constant pressure makes the concert at the Niger River Festival at the end of the film all the more triumphant.—Dave Nuttycombe

In English, French, Bambara, Tamasheq with English subtitles


Sunday, April 23
3:45 PM
$13.00 - Advance Sales - $14.00 at the theater
Monday, April 24
8:45 PM
$14.00 at the theater

TV 5 Monde


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Trailers may not have subtitles but all of our foreign language films do.
Having trouble viewing the trailer? See it here.