Michael Gira and his band Swans are one of industrial music’s heaviest and most emotionally shattering groups. Filmmaker Porsia went behind-the-scenes for years to fashion this wide-ranging ode to Swans’ unique brand of unsettling, transcendent music. Formed in the ‘80s post-punk scene and touring extensively with bands like Sonic Youth, Swans made a name particularly for Gira’s high-wire performances, laced with pathos and bursts of violence while squalls of noise cascaded behind him in dingy basements and makeshift venues. Now, Swans retains a great deal of their unpredictability in the middle of their third decade in existence—and remains one of American music’s most vital acts.
Part of the 37th Annual Reel Music Festival.