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The group's "Trances" are our equivalent of "soul music", our irrationality. I followed the example of the Nass El Ghiwane themselves: I went back to the roots. They draw their music from the last thousand years of Moroccan and African history. the film sets out to reveal and emphasize this heritage. I chose the music of the Saharan brotherhood, The Gnawas, and the verses of the famous poet El Mejdoub, to underline the trances Written by
El Maanouni, Ahmed
Saw a newly restored print of this film, the first film restored by Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation, and I understand why it was chosen to spearhead the project.
Apparently Scorsese saw this film on TV in the 80's when editing the King of Comedy and was transfixed by it, and went out of his way to track down the makers of the film and the print. The restored print is pristine, and the film itself sublime. It follows the path of one of Morocco's most famous bands during a period of strife in that country. It's made with an abstract and non linear narrative, and crafted like a poem. We hear the gentle voices of the musicians, who carry universal messages about love and unity peppered between many wonderful scenes of music and performances. Indeed watching it puts you in a trance like state, much like the audiences in the film.
An integral documentary.
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