Mali Blues

Mali’s Music defines the country’s cultural identity. But the political situation is complicated and the different ethnic groups are in conflict. Mali’s music is in danger. Together with the stars of Malian Global Pop – Fatoumata Diawara and Bassekou Kouyaté – we embark on a musical journey to Mali’s agitated heart. Can their music reconcile the country?


  • 11/2013 - Gebrueder Beetz at IDFA in Amsterdam

    CEO Christian Beetz and Producer Georg Tschurtschenthaler attend the IDFA in Amsterdam from Sunday. Gebrueder Beetz’ first activity is the [...]

    CEO Christian Beetz and Producer Georg Tschurtschenthaler attend the IDFA in Amsterdam from Sunday. Gebrueder Beetz' first activity is the EBU-pitch for the documentary "Falciani" on Sunday, November 24th. Following this, our film "Nelson Mandela: the myth & me" has it's world premiere at 9:00 pm at the long-standing Theater Tuschinski. Further pitching takes place on Monday: our project "Mali Blues" is presented at IDFA-Forum. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam is the world's largest documentary film festival held from November 20th to December 1st 2013. Our Team's participation in festivals and panels is also listed in the website's new section "WHO, WHEN, WHERE" via "COMPANY".

    IDFA's Website

  • 11/2013 - Successful IDFA-pitches: "Mali Blues" and "Falciani's List"

    Two of our recent projects “Mali Blues” and “Falciani´s List” were successfully pitched at IDFA last week. “Falciani´s List” (Director: [...]

    Two of our recent projects "Mali Blues" and "Falciani´s List" were successfully pitched at IDFA last week. "Falciani´s List" (Director: Ben Lewis / spanish coproduction: Polar Star Films, Bettina Walter) Pitch on Sonday, 24th November 2013 Lutz Gregor's film is a musical road movie illustrating Mali’s rich musical culture. It is about islamic fundamentalists threatening this musical culture and the artist's fight for peace, free expression and an "African spring". "Mali Blues" (Director: Lutz Gregor) Pitch on Monday, 25th November 2013: 5 TV-Broadcasters The documentary is about the whistle-blower Hervé Falciani who distributed a list containing 130.000 secret bank accounts to several governments in 2006 - and significantly fueled a debate about international tax dodging.

    Falciani´s List
    Mali Blues

  • 06/2014 - Christian Beetz at Sheffield Doc/Fest and Sunny Side Of The Doc

    Producer Christian Beetz on tour: on 10th of June you can meet him at Sheffield Doc/Fest. First he will talk [...]

    Producer Christian Beetz on tour: on 10th of June you can meet him at Sheffield Doc/Fest. First he will talk about "How to Co-Produce with Germany. Possibilities to Work with Film Funds, Broadcasters and Producers" on the roundtable at 10 am. He will then attend the session "Co-Producing in South-America", moderated by producer Bettina Walter at 12 am. On June 08 and 11, Sheffield Doc/Fest will screen our documentary "Nelson Mandela: the myth & me". The film will be at the videotheque afterwards, as well as our documentary "Before the Last Curtail Falls". On 24th of June he will pitch our project MALI BLUES at Sunny Side Of The Docs. The Arts & Culture session will take place in the Agora from 2:30 pm to 4 pm. Director Lutz Gregor travels through the West African country talking to musicians about the constant threat by the Sharia and their fight for music as a human right.

    Sheffield Doc/Fest Screening Date
    Sheffield Doc/Fest Roundtable
    Sheffield Doc/Fest Session "Co-Producing in South-America"
    Sunny Side
    Nelson Mandela: the myth & me on Facebook
    Before the Last Curtain Falls on Facebook
    Mali Blues on Facebook

Mali Blues

MALI BLUES is a musical road movie discovering the rich musical culture of this West African country, the roots of Blues and Jazz.

Together with Fatoumata Diawara – the young shooting star of Global Pop and ngoni-virtuoso Bassekou Kouyaté, we embark on a musical journey to Mali’s agitated heart. The film depicts the artists’ fight for music as their human right and their resentment of the dictatorship, which is hostile to culture. They believe a life in peace and religious tolerance within all ethnicities is possible. Can their music reconcile the country?

Music is so central to this country. Mali’s music belongs to the world’s cultural heritage – west-African slaves once brought their music to the cotton fields in North America, where it developed into Jazz and Blues. 60% of the population can neither read nor write. Music holds society together and is present in every aspect of Malian life – from birth to death. It is a language that everyone speaks, and connects the more than 80 ethnic groups.

Fatoumata Diawara has recently been on the red carpet in Cannes as an actress in a Malian feature film by director Sissako. The film is called TIMBUKTU. Some might already have heard about it – there was along article in Vanity Fair. Famous Ngoni player Bassekou Kouyaté has put together a band project with musicians from four different ethnic groups. They want to show: all ethnic groups in Mali have to stand together to fight against the terror of the fundamentalists. Whoever is trying to ban music in Mali is ripping out the country’s heart – this, they will not accept. Musicians from Mali are receiving standing ovations in the Western world – from sold out philharmonic halls to trendy clubs and – now in summer – music festivals all over the world. The musicians are resisting pressure and keep on making music in their county, for their people!

Director: Lutz Gregor
Director of Photography: Axel Schneppat
Assistant DoP: Konrad Waldmann
Sound: Pascal Capitolin
Location Manager: Bärbel Mauch
Line Producer: Kathrin Isberner
Production Assistants: Anique Roelfsema, Céline Deligny, Lea-Marie Körner
Producer: Kerstin Meyer-Beetz
Technical Supervisor: Philipp Weigold
Executive Producer: Christian Beetz


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