Filmmakers launch Kickstarter to fund documentary on exiled Malian musicians

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to fund a film about Malian musicians living in exile after Islamic extremists imposed a ban on music in 2012.

Filming is already underway on They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile, but the makers of the documentary are hoping to raise £30,000 to fund two further trips to the African country.

The documentary focuses on a number of musicians from Northern Mali, where the introduction of sharia law last year led to the torching of radio stations and musical instruments and what the filmmakers say was the largest mass migration the Southern Sahara has ever seen.

Among those profiled in the film are master kora players Toumani Diabate and his son Sidiki, Fadimata ‘Disco’ Walet Oumar, lead singer of the band Tartit, and Manny Ansar, the director of the country’s major music festival, The Festival in the Desert.

As the filmmakers explain, music is “the beating heart of Malian culture”. “It is through music that Mali’s oral history, news and identity is shared,” they explain. “This is the only culture in the world to have a class of musicians in society – they are known as the Griots, and for centuries their culture has been passed equally from mother to daughter, father to son.”

The campaign launched on November 7 and has already raised nearly £10,000 of its stated goal. Those who pledge £10 or more will receive a digital download of the film, while £25 will get you the soundtrack as well. Larger pledges will be rewarded with other film-related goodies.

Find out more on the Kickstarter page and watch their video below:

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