Movie of the Month #6: Trances الحال

This film is available from November 02 – 16.

‘Trances’ is an astounding documentary film which showcases the music and lives of arguably Morocco’s most electrifying band Nass El Ghiwane through cinematic poetry and rich imagery. 

Established in Morocco in the early 1970s, the five man band has its roots in avant-garde political theatre, playing a highly influential role in the fusion of Moroccan chaabi music with Western instruments like the banjo. Their political lyrics, acoustic formation and sublime trance-inducing music are at the forefront of this free-form audio-visual documentation of the legendary pioneers of Morocco’s uncompromising radical new sound. 

Following acclaimed musicians Larbi Batma, Omar Sayyed, Abderahmane Kirouche (Paco), Boujemaa Brahim,  Allal Yaala and Abdelaziz al-Tahiri the film follows their story through their songs and concerts, masterfully interlaced with interviews in which the band discuss the political and social context of their songs while also giving a unique insight into their Casablanca neighbourhood Hay Mohammedi at a time of wide cultural and artistic turn  and reflects on the unique cultural heritage of Morocco at the time.

This screening is brought to you in collaboration with Al Balad TheaterAmman Jazz FestivalArabesquesKhalil Sakakini Cultural Center, SOAS Music Department, OrangeRed and WAW al Balad.  

Stream 'Trances - الحال' below