CINESPIA SALON: Trances (rare 35mm print, plus live set by Noureddine El-Warari!)

Fiercely championed by Martin Scorsese since he first saw it in 1981, Trances is, in his words, “a concert film like no other.” Meet the long-standing kings of Moroccan jams: Nass el Ghiwane, who for decades have driven audiences into highly spiritual and deeply groove-laden frenzies with their unique style of crowd-rocking ritual, prompting Scorsese to dub them “the Rolling Stones of Africa.” Under the spell of the band’s gnawa music (the sounds of the mystical Sufi healers, who use deeply hypnotic drones to cure psychological ills or remedy scorpion stings), Nass el Ghiwane’s audiences are often put into trances by the tunes, and the film’s gorgeous tracking shots of people dancing in ecstasy are unlike anything else in cinema. Filmed at a time when pop music was barely tolerated in Northern Africa, Trances takes you on a heady trip through the streets of a dreamy seaside port, where Nass el Ghiwane play with friends, perform for immense concert crowds, visit master musicians, and discuss their beautiful metaphysical views and lifestyle. We’re beaming with pride as we present a very rare 35mm print of this incredible movie! Friend-of-the-band Noureddine El-Warari will be here for a Q&A after the film, plus a live solo North African Banjo set!
Dir. Ahmed El Maanouni, 1981, 35mm, 90 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Trances”!