Friday, 8 November 2013


In 2007 Michel Jaffrennou produced the documentary ‘Desert Blues – Un Voyage Musical au Coeur du Mali‘. Due to the current developments in Northern Mali this movie could not find more relevance today. 

The movie takes us on a trip from Bamako to Tombouctou and presents us the culture and music of the Bambara, Songhai and Touareg people. It is a musical invitation to voyage deep into the Sahara and the Niger River, a voyage across sand and water. Symbiotically, in tune with the world of the musicians and their music, it is about the creation of sound-images, of song-images that tell the story of Mali, the Mali of today, land of enchantment. The unifying theme is the stories related by the poets and griot musicians in their songs: stories of love, of struggles and of which the natural and supernatural co-exist as a part of everyday life. It is a musical tale, combining the real and the imaginary, weaving a spell of images and stories that enchants viewers and carry them off into the heart of Malian Africa, into its landscapes, its fantasies, as well as its everyday concerns. A film made up of music and songs, without any additional words, but with a multicultural perspective that should appeal to viewers all over the world. It features the great Malian artists Habib Koité, Afel Bocoum and the group Tartit and reminds us once more about the imaginably rich musical tradition that Mali has.  

Below you can watch the documentary in French. Please click here to watch it with English subtitle.

And check for more music from Africa and the African diaspora!

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