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198 Ratings



Directed by Ahmed El Maanouni
France, Morocco, 1981
Documentary, Musical


Ahmed El Maanouni’s 1981 documentary records concerts, interviews and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the pioneering group, Nass El Ghiwan, which has been famously described by Martin Scorsese as ‘the Rolling Stones of North Africa’.

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Transes Directed by Ahmed El Maanouni
In a sense, Trances’ inclusion in this collection is symbolic,representing any number of similar films—its value today isn’t so much cinematic, or even musical, as it is culturally historical, providing a window on a very specific time and place. Good or bad, movies eventually metamorphose into testaments, like the series of still photographs they fundamentally are. Box sets like this one amount to a world tour in a time machine.
January 08, 2014
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…At once a vibrant concert documentary about the Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane as well as a free-form political and historical portrait of the fascinating culture that surrounds them.
December 29, 2013
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Part concert film, part regional essay, part meditation on the artistic plight, and thus not unlike Scorsese’s own The Last Waltz, Trances is both a snapshot of a bygone era and a celebration of communal spirit.
December 18, 2013
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