A concert film unlike any other, Trances presents extraordinary footage of the Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane, whom Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker called a “mighty Moroccan band” and WCF co-founder Martin Scorsese called “the Rolling Stones of Africa.” The film examines a time when access to pop music was incredibly limited in northern Africa. Nass El Ghiwane introduced an unsuspecting Moroccan population to music that was informed by various types of regional music, incorporated Sufi chants, theater, and poetry, and was rife with politically loaded lyrics. Scorsese became so entranced by the film that he encouraged Peter Gabriel to take cues from the band in composing his score to The Last Temptation of Christ and inaugurated the World Cinema Foundation’s work some 26 years later with the restoration of this cinematic gem.
The 9:30pm screening will be introduced by acclaimed critic and poet Byron Coley. One of the central writers at the iconic 1980s indie music magazine Forced Exposure, he has also written for Spin and is currently the senior writer at Arthur Magazine.