Introduced by Director Johanna Schwartz!
THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST is a disturbing, but ultimately uplifting story about the power of music over violence and censorship. Timbuktu was once one of the great music centers in Africa, but when Islamic jihadists invaded in 2012, they banned music, burned instruments, destroyed radio stations and forced musicians to flee for their lives. The musicians fight back and use their music as a weapon. Director Johanna Schwartz follows two disparate groups of musicians forced into exile. Four young men form a band called “Songhoy Blues,” and are picked up by famed singer/producer Brian Eno for a record deal and world tour. And several well-known women musicians work to bring music back to Timbuktu, if only for a day. It’s a beautiful and moving film that is both entertaining and topical. “Johanna Schwartz’s miraculously hopeful documentary, They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile, delivers a vibrant testimony of resilience under oppression”—New York Times. In English and in French, Songhay, Bambara and Tamashek with English subtitles. Unrated. 105 Min.