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Directed by Ahmed El Maanouni

1981, in Arabic with English subtitles


90 minutes


A concert film unlike any other, Trances presents extraordinary footage of Nass El Ghiwane—known as the Rolling Stones of Africa—whose legendary performances combined music, poetry, and theater.

“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.” —Time Out London

“Nass El Ghiwane was singing their nation, their people—their beliefs, their sufferings, their prayers.” —filmmaker Martin Scorsese (founder, World Cinema Foundation, who assisted in the film's restoration)

Click here to learn more about Moroccan cinema from Latif Adnane, a professor of modern and classical languages at the University of St. Thomas.

Support for this screening has been provided by CinemaNa. Special thanks to World Cinema Foundation; Cineteca de Bologna; and BAM Cinématek.