They Will Have to Kill Us First

Apr 04 - Apr 06, 2016

(Johanna Schwartz, United Kingdom, 2015, 105 min)

Seattle premiere!

In 2012, jihadists took control of northern Mali. They imposed one of the harshest interpretations of sharia law, and crucially for Mali, they banned music – radio stations destroyed, instruments burned and Mali’s musicians faced death. Overnight, Mali’s musicians were forced into hiding or exile where many remain even now.
This film follows Mai’s musicians as they fight to keep music alive. We witness fierce battles between the army and jihadists, life over borders at refugee camps, perilous journeys home to war ravaged cities, the first concert in post-sharia Timbuktu and, for one band, their path to international stardom.

"Flat-out mesmerizing.. one of the most vibrantly shot and masterfully edited documentaries of this or any other SXSW year." -Austin Chronicle

One of the top 5 films at SXSW. “SXSW was rife with music documentaries this year, and this was one of the more timely and bracing.” -Indiewire (Playlist)

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