Trances

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A documentary on the music group Nass El Ghiwane. We eavesdrop on the group, whose troubadour style has won them a large and rapturous following in their home country of Morocco. The debt owed to the musical traditions of their faith and land is freely acknowledged, and vividly brought to mind by the trance-like state their compelling, percussive music induces in their fans. Amid nostalgic and folkloric anecdotes, they bicker over recording contracts. Nothing new here, but interesting.

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ahmed El Maanouni
Cast: Nass El Ghiwane
Taieb Seddiki

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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LiveReviews|2
1 person listening
charles antaki

There's plenty new here - from the sight of what urban Morocco looked like in the 1970s (and fleeting footage of what if was like under Portuguese occupation) to the extraordinary feel of a midnight open-air concert with the audience being held back form the stage by soldiers - all accompanied by the kind of Saharan music we will hardly ever hear anywhere else. The director lets the images and the musicians do the talking, and for Western ears the unfamiliarity gradually becomes entrancing. It's no suprisse that Martin Scorcese's World Cinema Foundation chose this as their first of their films to rescue and restore. A fascinating portrait of passionate musicians and their music deeply embedded in cultural resistance.

charles antaki

There's plenty new here - from the sight of what urban Morocco looked like in the 1970s (and fleeting footage of what if was like under Portuguese occupation) to the extraordinary feel of a midnight open-air concert with the audience being held back form the stage by soldiers - all accompanied by the kind of Saharan music we will hardly ever hear anywhere else. The director lets the images and the musicians do the talking, and for Western ears the unfamiliarity gradually becomes entrancing. It's no suprisse that Martin Scorcese's World Cinema Foundation chose this as their first of their films to rescue and restore. A fascinating portrait of passionate musicians and their music deeply embedded in cultural resistance.