Music is the beating heart of Malian culture. But when Islamic extremists took control of northern Mali in 2012, they enforced one of the harshest interpretations of sharia law in history and, crucially for Mali, they banned all forms of music. Radio stations were destroyed, instruments burned and Mali’s musicians faced torture, even death. Overnight, Mali’s revered musicians were forced into hiding or exile where most remain even now. But rather than lay down their instruments, the musicians are fighting back, standing up for their cultural heritage and identity. They Will Have to Kill Us First follows these musicians as they use their music as a weapon against the ongoing violence that has left Mali ravaged.