“A headspinning tour de force, beginning with an attack on students in 1976 and turning to the nature of film-making itself” – Mark Kermode, The Observer
“You’ll be lucky to find a more ambitious or enthralling work of cinema in this year’s festival."- Kieron Corless, Sight & Sound
Over the last 15 years, Thai filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong has emerged as a singular voice in contemporary cinema for her fearless address of Thailand’s ongoing political turmoil and dazzlingly inventive approach to form. Her second feature, By the Time it Gets Dark, is a shape-shifting tour de force, built around the rippling effects of the 1976 Thammasat University massacre, in which a student protest was brutally quashed by Thai government and right-wing paramilitary forces. The film begins as the story of a film director researching the event. As her questions grow more probing, the film refracts into a series of interconnected narratives of love, activism, cinema, pop culture, and the ways the past reveals itself in the present. Born the year of the Thammasat massacre, Suwichakornpong has frequently pointed to the echoes between the events of the 1970s and Thailand’s climate of political suppression today. With By the Time It Gets Dark, she asks profound and unexpected questions about purpose and connection in the face of history’s roiling waves.
Festivals, Awards, & Nominations
Winner, Best Picture and Best Director, Thailand National Film Awards
2021, Pom Bunsermvicha, Thailand, DCP, 17:34 minutes
In Thai with English Subtitles
According to Thai superstition, a virgin can ward off rain by planting lemongrass upside down underneath an open sky. This belief remains prevalent to this day. As clouds begin to gather, a young production manager on a film set is tasked with carrying out this tradition. Written by Anocha Suwichakornpong and shot on the set of Suwichakornpong’s Come Here (2021), Lemongrass Girl seamlessly shifts between fiction and documentary in this subtle reflection on gender, power, and sexism.
About the Artists
Anocha Suwichakornpong is a filmmaker whose work is informed by the socio-political history of Thailand. Her films have been the subject of retrospectives at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York; TIFF Cinematheque, Toronto; Cinéma Moderne, Montreal; and Olhar de Cinema, Brazil. Suwichakornpong received her master of fine arts from Columbia University. In 2006, Suwichakornpong co-founded the production company Electric Eel. In 2017, she co-founded Purin Pictures, an initiative to support Southeast Asian cinema. Between 2018 and 2020, Suwichakornpong was a visiting lecturer at the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies at Harvard University. In 2019, Suwichakornpong was named a Prince Claus Laureate.
Pom Bunsermvicha is an independent director and producer based in Bangkok, Thailand. Her work, which mostly combines documentary elements with fiction, has been shown at venues around the world including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; Museum of Modern Art, New York;, Hamburg International Short Film Festival; Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland; and SeaShorts Film Festival, Malaysia.
Anocha Suwichakornpong, Tulapop Saenjaroen, and Pom Bunsermvicha in Conversation with Melika Bass
Friday, October 22, 6:00 p.m
Closed captions available
Updated COVID-19 Protocols
We care deeply about the well-being and safety of our audiences and staff. With the recent rise of COVID-19 cases, we are updating our health and safety procedures to require proof of full vaccination* or a negative result on a COVID PCR test for all screenings and events at the Film Center.
We know it can be hard to enjoy a movie without knowing the status of the folks sitting close to you. Our hope is that these new procedures will allow you to relax and view our films in the way they’re meant to be seen--with your undivided attention to the screen.
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See you at the movies!
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