Qabla Zahf el-Zhalam (Before the Dying of the Light)

Carnegie Museum of Art Theater

Free with museum admission, no registration required

Directed by Ali Essafi (Morocco/France, 2020, Color/B&W, 70 minutes)
Language: Arabic
Presented as part of the 58th Carnegie International Film Festival

Weaving together a collage of rare posters, magazine covers, archival footage, and graphic novels, Before the Dying of the Light looks back to the artistic scene of 1970s Morocco, giving voice to its artists and protagonists. Culling footage from About Some Meaningless Events, an experimental film by Mostafa Derkaoui that had been censored in 1974, in which a group of young filmmakers explore the role new Moroccan cinema should play in society, the film revives the counterculture of resistance that arose from Marxist student movements and envisioned cinema as a means of politicizing the public. Dedicated to victims of censorship and oppression, Before the Dying of the Light employs riotously edited fragments and evokes a time of excitement about the future, before it was extinguished under the repressive rule of King Hassan II.