"Music is important as a daily event. It's not just a business, for it's through our music that we know history and our own identity". Manny Ansar, director of the Festival in the Desert

Despite the horror of the conflict, Malian musicians have chosen to stand up to the ban. Rather than lay down their instruments, the musicians have found their latent fighting spirit. Through their stories, we document the actions of a nation standing up for its cultural heritage and its right to sing. This is a story about the battle to save Mali.

“The current tragedy of Mali is intensified by its tradition of tolerance. Its strand of gentle Sufism could not be further removed from the hate-fuelled Islamists of al-Qaida.” The Independent

Our film will focus on musicians like Fadimata “Disco” Walet Oumar, lead singer of the band Tartit, whose husband is one of the key players in the conflict. Toumani Diabate and his son Sidiki, master Kora players who come from 72 generations of Griots before them. Khaira Arby, the “Nightingale of the North”, who was told she would have her tongue cut out by the jihadists. We will also follow the efforts of Manny Ansar, the director of the country’s greatest music festival, perhaps the most remarkable festival in the world, The Festival in the Desert.

j vimeo.com/80490561

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