They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile

Songhoy Blues – Credit: Andy Morgan

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A 'talking gig' featuring Songhoy Blues plus a special preview screening

Film Africa presents a season of contemporary and classic West African cinema. Film Africa is the Royal African Society's annual festival celebrating the best African cinema from across the continent and diaspora. The 2015 season takes place from 30 October to 8 November in venues across London.

They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile is a feature length new documentary following musicians in Mali in the wake of the jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music.

Music, one of the most important forms of communication in Mali, disappeared overnight in 2012 when Islamic extremists groups rose up to capture an area the size of the UK and France combined. But rather than lay down their instruments, Mali’s musicians fought back.

Declared 'Essential viewing' by Dazed & Confused Magazine, and 'A gripping, powerful documentary' by Indiewire, They Will Have to Kill us First (100 minutes. Cert 15) is released in UK cinemas in November, 2015.

The British Library hosts a special preview screening of the film with director Johanna Schwartz, writer Andy Morgan and a live appearance by the film’s stars, breakthrough Malian rockers Songhoy Blues.

The Guardian hailed Songhoy Blues’ debut album, Music in Exile, 'a triumph', whilst NME hailed it as 'a masterpiece of desert blues'.

Prior to the screening, a very special talking gig will be led by Andy Morgan.                                            
Incorporating live, acoustic performances from Songhoy Blues alongside an in-depth interview about their lyrics, intentions for their music and the background to their songs, the talking gig provides a third dimension of understanding for audiences.

The documentary and talking gig offer a fascinating and highly-entertaining new approach to presenting stories from around the world, turning music into a window through which the complex situation on the ground in Mali can be better understood and appreciated.

Directed and Filmed by Johanna Schwartz
Written by Johanna Schwartz and Andy Morgan
Producers: Johanna Schwartz, Sarah Mosses and Kat Amara Korba
Music Producer: Marc Antoine Moreau

In association with Film Africa  and Illuminations.   


Name: They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile
Where: Conference Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546