‘Mali Blues’: Film Review

Lutz Gregor’s documentary follows 4 African musicians as they ready for a unison in their country, that has turn increasingly theme to Sharia law.

“We are sick, we are psychopaths, we need music,” declares Fatoumata Diawara, one of a subjects of Lutz Gregor’s impressionistic documentary about 4 eminent Malian musicians struggling with a country’s radical Islamic elements. Combining smashing unison footage with relocating portraits of artists dynamic to make strain no matter what a risk, Mali Blues should interest both to universe strain fans and anyone meddlesome in a augmenting tensions between physical and eremite army in Africa.

With most of Mali’s northern segment carrying been taken over in a final decade by radical Islamists vigilant on enforcing Sharian law, a country’s musicians were forced possibly to rush opposite borders or pierce south. Centering on a 2015 strain festival hold on a banks of a Niger River in a collateral city of Bamako, a film profiles 4 of a participating performers. It also serves as a clear sign that so most of American music, quite jazz and blues, owes to African influences.

The musicians are Diawara, a singer/guitarist who might be informed to moviegoers interjection to her purpose in Abderrahmane Sissako’s acclaimed 2014 play Timbuktu, that dealt with identical themes; Bassekou Kouyate, a Grammy-nominated musician and griot who plays a ngoni, a normal fibre instrument that he explains was a predecessor to a banjo and has been fraudulent adult to furnish a unusual sound; Master Soumy, a rapper whose politically charged lyrics directly criticism on a fundamentalists’ exaggeration of Islam (“Murder and torture/Explain your Islam/Before we dissuade me laughing/Explain your Islam”); and Ahmed Ag Kaedi, a guitar specialist who had his apparatus broken by Islamists when they took over his hometown and threatened to cut off his fingers should he resume playing.

The executive skilfully interweaves his impressionistic depiction of a country’s healthy beauty and a people with low-pitched segments; interviews with a 4 ardent musicians; and such thespian moments as when Diawara, after personification a strain about her possess genital mutilation, engages in a energetic contention with several comparison encampment women, some of whom urge a practice. We also learn that a singer/songwriter had fled a nation years progressing to equivocate an organised matrimony and is usually now behaving professionally in her local home for a initial time.

Mali Blues during times proves repeated and too languorous in a pacing. But during a best a film delivers a beautiful paean to a liberating effects of strain and a fun it can move even to people faced with aroused hang-up in a name of religion.

Production: Gebruder Beetz Filmproduktion, ZDF, ARTE
Distributor: Icarus Films
Director: Greg Gregor
Producer: Kerstin Meyer-Beetz
Executive producer: Christian Beetz
Director of photography: Axel Schneppat
Editors: Markus Schmidt, Michelle Barbin

93 mins

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