The Last Song Before the War

Director: Kiley Kraskouskas
Countries: Mali and USA
Year: 2013
Running Time: 74 min.
Language: French, Tamashek, and English

The Last Song Before the War is a documentary that captures the rise and uncertain future of Mali’s annual Festival in the Desert. The festival history is told from the perspective ofthe festival director Manny Ansar, the musicians who perform, and intrepid travelers from around the world. Against the backdrop of stunning musical performances, the film reveals the challenges and triumphs of creating an artistic event under such challenging economic and political circumstances. After 12 years of success, the Festival in the Desert came to a halt in 2012 when separatist rebels and Islamic militants seized control of Northern Mali. The Last Song Before the War chronicles the 2011 Festival edition, a global display of peace, reconciliation, and the healing power of music.