. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Anocha Suwichakornpong: By the Time It Gets Dark

Posted by | Amy Beste | Posted on | October 21, 2021

Thursday, October 21–Thursday, October 28

A Thai woman with a low ponytail wearing a white shirt standing in profile against a river landscape.

Anocha Suwichkornpong By The Time It Gets Dark 2016 Courtesy of the artist and KimStim

Theatrical Screening
with Lemongrass Girl (Pom Bunsermvicha, 2021)
Thursday, October 21, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center

Virtual Screenings
October 22–October 28
Gene Siskel Film Center Virtual Cinema

2016, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand / France / Netherlands / Qatar, DCP, 105 minutes

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. In Thai with English subtitles.

Screening with:

Lemongrass Girl
2021, Pom Bunsermvicha, Thailand, DCP, 17:34 minutes

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. In Thai with English subtitles. 


Anocha Suwichakornpong, Tulapop Saenjaroen, and Pom Bunsermvicha in Conversation with Melika Bass
Virtual Event
Friday, October 22, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center Virtual Cinema


Come Here (Chicago International Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center)
Theatrical Screening
Thursday, October 21, 8:15 p.m.

Mundane History with Nightfall
Theatrical Screening
Saturday, October 23
Gene Siskel Film Center

Krabi, 2562 with Jai 
Theatrical Screening
Sunday, October 24
Gene Siskel Film Center


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.