. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Anocha Suwichakornpong: Mundane History and Nightfall

Posted by | Amy Beste | Posted on | October 23, 2021

Saturday, October 23, 5:00 p.m.
Theatrical Screening
Gene Siskel Film Center

Anocha Suwichakornpong, Mundane History, 2009. Courtesy of the artist and Electric Eel Films.

The corporeal and the cosmic collide to mesmerizing effect in Anocha Suwichakornpong’s debut feature. Mundane History begins straightforwardly enough, as nurse Pun takes a new job caring for Ake, a paralyzed young man whose angry defiance gradually softens into grudging respect. But as the two men form a tentative friendship, Suwichakornpong explodes her own film, blowing open an abstract realm that encompasses everything from dream worlds to Thai history to the miracle of birth to the death of stars. At once slyly unassuming and dazzlingly ambitious, this existential odyssey heralded the arrival of a bold new visionary of Thai cinema. In Thai with English subtitles. (Description adapted from Film at Lincoln Center)

2009, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand, DCP, 82 minutes

Screening with:

2016, Anocha Suwichakornpong and Tulapop Saenjaroen, Thailand/Singapore, DCP, 15 minutes

Nightfall follows an unnamed woman through the streets, gardens, and tourist spots in Singapore. “On the soundtrack we hear a woman’s voice reading the speeches of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Thai Prime Minister Kittikachorn at a 1973 State dinner praising each other’s economies 10 months before the popular uprising that overthrew Kittikachorn’s military and anti-communist dictatorship. This coup planted the seeds of the 1976 Thammasat University massacre—the historical subject of Suwichakornpong’s 2016 feature film By the Time It Gets Dark” (Steffanie Ling, Senses of Cinema). 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


By the Time It Gets Dark with Lemongrass Girl
Theatrical Screening
Thursday, October 21, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center

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

By the Time It Gets Dark
Virtual Screenings
October 22–October 28
Gene Siskel Film Center Virtual Cinema

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.