2015 Schedule
Interactive: March 13–17  •  Film: March 13–21  •  Music: March 17–22

They Will Have To Kill Us First

Monday, March 16
6:15PM - 8:00PM

Stateside Theatre
719 Congress Ave


In 2012, jihadists took control of northern Mali. They imposed one of the strictest interpretations of sharia law in history. On August 12th they banned music - radio stations destroyed, instruments burned and musicians facing torture, even death. Overnight, Mali’s most revered members of society – the musicians – were forced into hiding or exile. This film follows Mali’s musicians as they fight to keep music alive in their country. We witness fierce battles between the army and the jihadists, capture life over borders at refugee camps where money and hope are scarce, follow perilous journeys home to war ravaged cities, and for one band, Songhoy Blues, their path to international stardom.

Section: 24 Beats Per Second
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Country: UK
Language: English, French, Tamashek, Songhoy and Bambara with Subtitles
Year: 2015
Runtime: 105min

Director: Johanna Schwartz

Executive Producer: Andre Singer

Producer: Sarah Mosses, Johanna Schwartz, Kat Amara Korba

Screenwriter: Johanna Schwartz, Andy Morgan

Cinematographer: Karelle Walker

Editor: Guy Creasey, Andrea Carnevali

Music: Nick Zinner, Songhoy Blues, Vieux Farke Toure, Kankou Kouyate, Afel Boucom, Amkoullel

Principal Cast: Songhoy Blues, Khaira Arby, Moussa Sidi, Fadimata "Disco" Walet Oumar


Johanna Schwartz is an award-winning American born, UK based filmmaker, working across the world, with a particular focus on Africa. She has produced and directed films for broadcasters such as the BBC, Channel 4 (UK), Channel 5 (UK), Discovery, National Geographic, The History Channel, PBS, CNBC, CNN , MTV among others. This is her feature debut.

Public Film Contact
Sarah Mosses
Together Films

Publicity Contact
Elizabeth Benjamin



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