The groundbreaking Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane is the dynamic subject of this captivating, one-of-a-kind documentary by Ahmed El Maanouni, who filmed the four musicians during a series of electrifying live performances in Tunisia, Morocco, and France; on the streets of Casablanca; and in intimate conversations. Through song and traditional instruments, storytellers, and connections to political theater, the band became a local phenomenon and an international sensation, thanks to its rebellious lyrics and sublime, fully acoustic sound, which draws on Berber rhythms, Malhun sung poetry, and Gnawa dances. Both a concert movie and a free-form audiovisual experiment, bolstered by images of the band’s rapt audience, Trances is pure cinematic poetry.

Trances was restored in 2007 by the Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Ahmed El Maanouni, and Izza Génini. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways, and Qatar Museum Authority.


  • Morocco
  • 1981
  • 88 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • Arabic
  • Spine #689


  • 2K digital restoration courtesy of The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction from 2013 by The Film Foundation’s founder and chair, Martin Scorsese
  • Interview program from 2013 featuring director Ahmed El Maanouni, producer Izza Génini, musician Omar Sayed, and Scorsese
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Sally Shafto

    New cover by Tawfi Dawi/Hey Porter!

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