Wijdan, The Mystery of Gnawa Trance Music

  • Wijdan - Le Mystère de la Musique Transe des Gnawas
Genre : Musical
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2007
Format : Mid-length
Running time : 52 (in minutes)

The Gnawa people have been shrouded in mystery since they were taken from the Malian empire and brought as slaves to Morocco. The power of their trance music has come into the spotlight through Western musicians (from Led Zeppelin to Archie Shepp) who help circulate the secret amongst those fascinated by the origin of the blues and the mystic connection of the music.

This film is an intimate portrait of two men who found each other like lost brothers separated by time. Time we now call history. Sibiri, bambara musician of Mali, and Brahim, gnawa musician from Morroco.
This 52 minute documentary is witness to these masters of the supernatural as they transmit secret knowledge to their children. As a testament to a fast changing Africa, we rediscover the meaning of transmission because who knows the color of the chick before it hatches?

Breaking away from the anthropological genre, this documentary about music is an intimate portrait of two musicians, both raised in the culture of trance, passing on mysterious knowledge about music and healing to their children, in front of the camera. A unique encounter for those fascinated by the mystical connection of music.

Brahim El Belkani and Sibiri Samaké

Shot in Marrakech and Paris.


2 files


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of