The beloved Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane is the dynamic subject of this captivating musical documentary. Storytellers through song, with connections to political theater, the band became an international sensation (Western music critics have often referred to them as “the Rolling Stones of North Africa”) thanks to their political lyrics and sublime, fully acoustic sound, which draws on the Moroccan trance music tradition. Both a concert movie and a free-form audiovisual experiment, Ahmed El Maânouni’s Trances is 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 Genini. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways, and Qatar Museum Authority.

Film Info

Available In

Collector's Set

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project

Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Box Set

9 Discs


Omar Sayed
Nass El Ghiwane musicians
Larbi Batma
Abderrahman ”Paco“ Kirouche
Allal Yaâla
Ahmed El Maânouni
Produced by
Izza Génini
Produced by
Souheil Ben Barka
Ahmed El Maânouni
Ahmed El Maânouni
Jean-Claude Bonfanti
Nass El Ghiwane
Sound recordist
Ricardo Castro

From The Current

Trances: Power to the People
Trances: Power to the People

Ahmed El Maânouni’s film celebration of the musical group Nass El Ghiwane is part of a long tradition of Moroccan cinema.

By Sally Shafto

World Cinema Project: Recalled to Life
World Cinema Project: Recalled to Life

The critic and WCP executive director offers a personal take on art cinema and a primer on the project’s scope and mission.

By Kent Jones

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