Ahmed El Maanouni’s 1981 documentary records concerts, interviews and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the pioneering group, Nass El Ghiwan, who were credited as an inspiration for his Last Temptation of Christ and have been famously described by Martin Scorsese as ‘the Rolling Stones of North Africa’. Nass El Ghiwan emerged from the impoverished city limits of Casablanca, combining elements of traditional Moroccan music – Sufi chants, Berber rhythms and the mystical dances of the Gnawa – to create a sound all of their own, introducing a new generation of North Africans to their roots, and the rest of the world, to a musical revolution. The film has been restored by the Cineteca di Bologna. “It was in 1981 while I was editing a film, The King of Comedy. We worked at night so no one would call us on the telephone and I would have television on, and one channel in New York at the time, around 2 or 3 in the morning, was showing a film called Trances. It repeated all night and it repeated many nights. And it had commercials in it, but it didn’t matter. So I became passionate about this music that I heard and I saw also the way the film was made, the concert that was photographed and the effect of the music on the audience at the concert. I tracked down the music and eventually it became my inspiration for many of the designs and construction of my film The Last Temptation of Christ. The music was also the basis for Peter Gabriel’s music in the film. I would play the music for most of the musicians I knew, Robbie Robertson of The Band…What you see here is a mix of the poetry, the music and the theatre that goes way back to the roots of the Moroccan culture. And I think the group was singing damnation: their people, their beliefs, their sufferings and their prayers all came through their singing. And I think the film is beautifully made by Ahmed El Maanouni; it’s been an obsession of mine since 1981 and that is why we are inaugurating the Foundation with Trances.” —Martin Scorsese, May 2007
NOTES ON THE RESTORATION
Restored in 2007 by The World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna / L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory. The restoration of Transes used the original 16mm camera and sound negative provided by producer Izza Génini. The camera negative was restored both photochemically and digitally and blown-up to 35mm format. The sound negative was restored to Dolby SR and digital.
Ahamed El Maanouni was born in 1944 in Casablanca, Morocco. He graduated in Theatre Studies from the Theatre International University and in Cinema Studies from the Sorbonne in Paris. He also obtained a diploma from the Higher National Institute for Performing arts and Broadcasting Techniques of Brussels. He won numerous international prizes for his work as a director, writer, cinematographer and producer. His film Alyam Alyam was part of the official selection at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival. It received the Grand Prix at the Manheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival. Al Hal (Trances) was selected in the 1982 London and New York Film Festivals and was participated in the 2007 Cannes CinéClassics. It was also the first film chosen by Martin Scorsese to be restored by the World Cinema Foundation. Among his works: The Moroccan Goumiers – 1993, Life and Reign of Mohamed V – 2000, Burned Hearts – 2007 and Conversations with Driss Chraïbi – 2007. —http://www.cairofilmfest.org/about… read more
Nada conhecia sobre Nass El Ghiwane – e nem sobre o cinema e a música de Marrocos, pra ser sincero – antes de ver TRANSES.
Scorsese fala que se inspirou neste documentário para compor visual… read review
This film is one the best in this time and in the time it was filmed.I m from hay mohamadi wich Nass El Ghiwane is from,I m verry Lucky to be watching theme shooting part of the film in my neighborhood… read review
The Moroccan style of music which Nass El Ghiwan plays is very unique and highly enjoyable, but, dissapointigly, the group’s interest begins and ends with their music. The film tracks and interviews… read review