Last Song Before The War

The Last Song Before the War is a feature-length documentary that captures the inspiring rise and uncertain future of Mali’s annual Festival in the Desert. Against the backdrop of stunning musical performances, the film subtly reveals the challenges and triumphs of creating an artistic event in such challenging economic and political circumstances. After 12 years of success and unforgettable musical moments, the Festival in the Desert came to a halt in 2012 when separatist rebels and Islamic militants seized control of Northern Mali.

Starring: Khaira Arby Bombino, Habib Koite, Bassekou Kouyate, Ngoni Bah, Oumou Sangare, Tartit, Tinariwen, Group Amanar, Leni Stern


"The Last Song Before The War is a beautiful trip to an oasis of harmony and music in a world filled with strife." - Richard Marcus, EMPTY MIRROR BOOKS

""The interviews with organizers and musicians reveal the extraordinary obstacles which had to be overcome in order to make such an event a reality. Just reaching the location is a challenge without considering the transport of the necessary equipment. But it was a labor of love and passion. Most fabulous is the performance footage and interviews with the musicians. I have spent far too many hours googling the music of these groups. It is mesmerizing and thoroughly intoxicating to see and hear this music and the blissed out audiences in the gorgeous desert night skies."- Belle McIntyre, MUSEE MAGAZINE


2013 / USA / Colour / English / 1.78 widescreen presentation / 2.0 Dolby Stereo / 81 minutes


Director: Kiley Kraskouskas



  • Theatrical Trailer