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Trances (15*)

Cinema On Demand

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A group of men gather round some instruments on the street in bright sunlight

Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane is the subject of this musical documentary, in the words of Martin Scorsese, “a concert film like no other.” 

So entranced was he by the film, Scorsese chose to inaugurate the work of his World Cinema Foundation, 26 years later, with this title. 

Opening on an eight-minute bravura set-piece showing the band performing to a huge, wildly enthusiastic audience in Carthage, the film visits Hay Mohammedi, the Casablanca slum where the group got its start, and from there interweaves filmed interviews and archival footage to build a multi-faceted portrait of the band (at the time, Omar Sayed, Larbi Batma, Abderrahman ‘Paco’ Kirouche, and Allal Yaâla), their inspirations and outlook.

Nass El Ghiwane’s music draws on Morocco’s ‘Gwana’ trance music tradition, and some of the film’s most memorable scenes show concert audiences dancing in trance-like ecstasy, sometimes overflowing onto the stage, and even embracing the four musicians. 
 

Tagged with: Cinema Cinema On Demand

Morocco 1981 Dir Ahmed El Maanouni 90 min

Please note: this film contains one brief scene of real animal slaughter. 

Restored in 2007 by The World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata in association with Ahmed El-Maanouni and Izza Genini. Restoration funding provided by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority.
 

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