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195 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
…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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As with all of the films in this collection, “Trances” is not so radical a departure from received cinematic convention as to be baffling but features tiny but crucial divergences from the norm: when, near the end of the film, the band starts addressing the director not with anger or challenge but simply as an acknowledgment of the person in the room, the casual, innocent violation of the remove so much nonfiction fashions for itself is broken in such a charming manner.
December 09, 2013
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