Tuesday, February 11, 2014

PAFF.ORG - "The Last Song Before War" - Yougahnese's Top Pick! (2.10.2014)

The Last Song Before The War   US Premiere

This amazing documentary chronicles the events in preparation for the annual music
festival in the in the city of Timbuktu in Mali. Set in the Sahara desert, this festival attracts musicians and music lovers from around the world and reinforces the bond among lovers of traditional Malian music as well as Mali-style style jazz, blues, funk, hip hop and rock and roll.

The Last Song Before the War  is laden with blues music, played by indigenous Malians. This film gave me confirmation that my father was accurate when he told me that the blues didn't come TO Africa, it came FROM Africa. The musicians in this documentary played soulful music that was reminiscent of of B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson and the film makes it evident that they have been playing these same blues songs note for note for centuries.

The documentary also gave a heartwarming portrayal of Toureg life in Mali. The annual music festival is centered around the time when the nomadic Touregs unite as one group after going long periods of time without seeing their friends and family. After being bombarded with so many negative images of the Touregs in the media in recent months, it was very interesting to learn more about the Touregs via their music, dance, culture and women's empowerment movement among the groundbreaking females on stage. In addition, what made the film so compelling was its succinct yet very informative portrayal of the international military actions that lead to the exile of the residents of Timbuktu as well as the annual music festival itself.
This film is a definite must see.  
Yougahnese Williams, Writer-At-Large 
More Details regarding the PAFF.ORG Festival - Twitter @PaffNOW

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