Moulay Hassan – Lord of the Cobras

François-Xavier Noulens
France 1995 | 26 Min. | OmfU

An astound­ing battle of wills takes place in the heart of the Maroc­can Sahara where mem­bers of a minor­i­ty exer­cise their dom­i­na­tion over one of man’s most ter­ri­fy­ing ances­tral ene­mies, the snake. The Aïs­saouas thrive on the pur­suit of dan­gers which, to all but them­selves, would bring death, muti­la­tion or mad­ness. Bare­hand­ed, they cap­ture cobras and draw on the snake’s strength to increase their power and heal­ing capac­i­ty. The trance plays an impor­tant part in their reli­gion which is based on a phi­los­o­phy of tolerance. 

The film takes us out on a mys­ti­cal jour­ney with an »Assaouï«: lead­ing us from chas­ing rep­tiles in the desert to an exor­cism ritual in which music and trances melt together.