Coming to theatres today, Friday, June 30:
Visions du Reel 2016
Toronto, IDFA, Munich, Dubai, Indielisboa, Santa Barbara, Minneapolis St Paul, Warsaw, Stockholm
A world music star returns to her homeland of Mali to perform for the first time in defiance of radical Islamic law.
Like many performers, singer Fatoumata Diawara has been unable to pursue her passion in Mali in recent years because of the spread of sharia law and its ban on secular music and dance. When the situation improves, Diawara and several other musicians return to perform in large concert, the Festival of Niger. Lutz follows them as they prepare, filling in their back stories and exploring their connection to an Islam that is not repressive or violent. Diawara eclipses the other protagonists here, suggesting that Lutz might have been better off focusing his attention on either just her or fewer subjects. While well-produced, the film tends toward full-on concert film territory rather than expanding on the situation facing musicians in Mali – a subject which was also already explored in the earlier THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST.