Official Selection - Vancouver International Film Festival 2013
In theatres on June 6, 2014
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. The festival history is told from the perspective of the co-founder and festival director, Manny Ansar, the musicians who perform and the intrepid travelers from around the world who make the long journey to attend the festival. 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 Tuareg rebels and Islamic militants seized control of Northern Mali.
The Last Song Before the War chronicles the 2011 Festival-arguably the last edition that still captured its original goals-a global display of peace, reconciliation, and the healing power of music, before being forced into exile.