by Lutz Gregor
Mali Blues, a musical road-movie about the rich musical culture of this West-African country, depicts the threat of Sharia and the fight of Malian artists for peace and freedom of speech. Together with Fatoumata Diawara, acclaimed Malian shooting star and actress in the Oscar nominated and with 7 Césars awarded film Timbuktu by Abderramahne Sissako, we embark on a journey from Bamako in the South West to Timbuktu in the North - Mali’s agitated heart. Other protagonists are ngoni-virtuoso Bassekou Kouyaté as well upcoming rapper Master Soumi. Music for change, music for life!
French, Bambara, Soninke, Tamaschek, Arabic
Director: Lutz Gregor
Executive Producer: Christian Beetz
Producer: Kerstin Meyer-Beetz
Director of Photography: Axel Schneppat
Sound: Pascal Capitolin
Editor: Markus Schmidt, Michelle Barbin
DIRECTOR - LUTZ GREGOR
Lutz Gregor has been working as a freelance filmmaker since 1983. In his work he is particularly interested in the link between society, music and dance and combines documentary and artistic techniques. Thus he has created numerous films ranging from international documentaries about people and social, cultural or historical issues to dance films. He teaches at media, dance and art schools, especially ‘Physical Cinema Workshops’. KÖNIGSKINDER (2001, funded by Filmbüro NRW) was shown at the 2002 Max Ophüls Festival, among other venues, and won an award at the 2003 Festival International du Film Indépendant in Brussels for its ‘new cinematographic language’. ‘Frankfurt Dance Cuts’ (ARTE 2004), four short films with dancers from William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt was screened in October 2005 as the German entry for the Temps d'Images’ festival in the Villa Medici in Rome.
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016〡VISIONS DU REEL 2016〡MUNICH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016〡INDIELISBOA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016〡DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016〡FILMAFRICA FILM FESTIVAL 2016〡IDFA 2016〡WARSAW 2016〡STOCKHOLM 2016〡SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2017〡MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL 2017
"Critic's Pick! The scenes in which the musicians play together elicit jubilation."
- The New York Times
"Compelling... artfully combines hypnotic music with definite social concerns. The emotion is strong, the music joyous."
- Los Angeles Times
"A gorgeous paean to the liberating effects of music and the joy it can bring even to people faced with violent repression."
- The Hollywood Reporter
"Savor performances of singular beauty, power, and invention."
- The Village Voice
"One of the best documentaries of the year. Audiences will walk away with a genuine understanding of the power of music, the resiliency of musicians and the inability of anyone to stop art from being created."
- Hollywood Soapbox
"[A] nuanced meditation on the limbo of the diaspora and celebrations of Mali's ethnic plurality... Mali's ripe musical heritage - from ngoni riffs to pulsating percussions and soulful rap--connects and engages audiences in the combat against silence… The goosebump-inducing sequence in which Fatou heroically denounces female circumcision not only serves to advocate music's potential in affecting real-life practices, but also marks a zenith of the music documentary genre."
- Cinema Scope