Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 80
    Kar Kar's singing is wonderfully expressive, and an improvised song to his wife at her grave site demonstrates the emotional wellspring of his music.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Eisner
    Educational value aside, pic is exciting for its extended performance sequences, with the most notable finding Traore and Farke strolling with guitars through the acoustically amazing atrium of an abandoned mud schoolhouse.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    For fans of African music, "Sing" is a rich archeological dig; for newcomers with open ears, it might be a revelation.
  4. 70
    The reverent pacing lags a bit, but the film's meditation on the struggle to find spirituality that reconciles Islam with tribal belief systems is powerful in its understatement, and its wordless observation of France's Malian community quietly evidences daily cultural preservation amid the hard labor.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    For many, the soundtrack to this beautifully shot film will probably mark their first encounter with Traore and the intoxicating sounds of his unique brand of Malian blues. Chances are it won't be their last.
  6. It does offer plenty of musical numbers and an impressionistic portrait of his life and times.
  7. One of those sanctifying docs that rambles when it should explore.
  8. 63
    Enjoyable if only to hear KarKar perform his mournful and personal songs, including a tender tribute to his late wife.
  9. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    A meandering and disappointing documentary about one of Africa's most beloved yet elusive musical giants.
  10. 60
    Informal, pleasant film that ably captures Mr. Traoré's spirit.
  11. 50
    Director Jacques Sarasin lazily relies on a talking-heads/archival-footage approach to tell Traoré's story, doing little to put it in context and assuming a lot more knowledge of Malian history than most viewers possess.
  12. It never really feels like we've gotten to know the man himself, leaving the figure at the heart of I'll Sing for You a cipher.
  13. What they say, mostly over black-and-white stills from his early career and meandering footage of desolate Mali, could be said in 10 minutes. The good news is that much of the remaining documentary is devoted to Kar Kar's elegant voice and exquisite guitar playing.

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