BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK

(Dao Khanong)

by Anocha Suwichakornpong

 

90th Oscar Best Foreign-Language Entry for Thailand

The delicately poetic second feature by Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong weaves together multiple stories and characters to create a portrait of a beautiful country haunted by the lingering trauma of the 1976 government-sanctioned massacre of student demonstrators in Bangkok.

 

A shape-shifting narrative around memory, politics and cinema, the film weaves together the stories of several characters. We meet a young waitress serving breakfast at an idyllic country café, only to later find her employed in the busy dining room of a river cruise ship. And we meet a filmmaker interviewing an older woman whose life was transformed by the political activism of her student years and the Thammasat University massacre of 1976. With her tender, unobtrusive filmmaking style, Suwichakornpong allows us to get to know these characters slowly and deeply. At the same time, we see how their beautiful country and its troubled history inform their actions and identities in ways both overt and subtle.

 

 

 

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