By the Time it Gets Dark (Dao Khanong)



a film by Anocha Suwichakornpong


Winner: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing,

Thai National Film Awards 2017

Special Mention, Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017

– released in the UK & Ireland 16 June 2017 –






Taking the Thammasat student massacre of 1976 as its starting point, By the Time it Gets Dark intricately weaves together the lives of various characters in this beguiling and dizzying second feature by Anocha Suwichakornpong.

The lives of a documentary filmmaker and her subject, a former a student activist, a waitress who constantly drifts from one job to another, an actor and an actress are all loosely connected, hinging on a series of almost invisible threads, while the narrative doesn’t fail to surprise as it unfolds, layer upon layer.

The film intricately weaves together notions of memory, the political and the cinematic, offering a bold exploration into film and the possibilities of cinema itself.

Anocha Suwichakornpong’s debut feature Mundane History won a Tiger Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2009, and she has also just won three Thai national film awards for By the Time it Gets Dark.

“This film is my love letter to cinema.” — Anocha Suwichakornpong


film of the week – Mark Kermode on BBC Radio 5 Live

film of the week ★★★★  The Observer

film of the week – Sight and Sound

★★★★ – “fascinating, enigmatic feature” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

★★★★ – “hypnotic”— Nigel Andrews, Financial Times


“Suwichakornpong confidently defies conventional forms and linearity, embracing the cryptic nature of her various intersecting narrative threads.” — Ben Nicholson, Sight & Sound

“an expansive and imaginative exploration of class, history and spirituality in modern Thailand” – *** 25 new films by female directors you need to see ***

“a wonderfully ambitious piece of filmmaking” — Eve Watling, Little White Lies

“the film’s textures and syntax are so strange and alluring that Suwichakornpong’s film becomes far more than the sum of its disparate parts” — Jonathan Romney, Film Comment – *** film of the week ***

“a brilliant work” — Nick Pinkerton, Artforum

“Suwichakornpong…has fashioned quite the Godardian puzzle” — Tara Brady, The Irish Times

“although Anocha’s films are luminously cinematic, constantly flexing film form to question how stories are told and characters are perceived, for me her work is also entangled with its verbal paratexts” — Sophie Mayer, Literal Magazine

“a film, a rather gorgeous one, of glances and ephemera and delicate metaphors” — Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

“a piece of surreal visual poetry” — Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter

“This is a cinema that is far from the idea of the documentary, a cinema that exalts its proper essence: imagination.” — Giuseppe Di Salvatore, Filmexplorer

“By The Time It Gets Dark is not an easy film to wrap your head around, but the feeling of loss, doubt and suffocated hope is right there.” — Kong Rithdee, Bangkok Post

“To call what happens in By the Time It Gets Dark a “plot” is to do it a disservice of sorts, such is the beguilingly self-reflexive nature of Anocha Suwichakornpong’s becalmed, trippy, historically conscious fungus of a film.” — Jay Kuehner, Cinema Scope

Mundane History was by any measure a self-assured and decidedly unique debut, however the conceptual steps forward in vision, scope, pacing, and coherence marked in By the Time it Gets Dark are phenomenal.” — Jeremy Elphick, 4:3 Film

“Suwichakornpong’s films elevate the ethereality of the physical, human world, as her cosmic imagery intertwines with the relationships between strangers, friends, lovers, families, citizens, and governments.” — Kelley Dong, Film Comment

“The only tangible link between these glittering narrative shards is the figure of the waitress, who pops up toiling away in the background of almost every new setting, an ordinary figure entrusted with gluing together an extraordinary film.” — James Lattimer, Slant Magazine




Written & Directed by: Anocha Suwichakornpong

Cast: Arak Amornsupasiri, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Atchara Suwan, Waywiree Ittianunkul

Production Company: Electric Eel Films

Co-producers: Christof Neracher, Tom Spiess

Co-Production Companies: VS Service, Survivance

Cinematography: Ming Kai Leung

Editors: Lee Chatametikool, Machima Ungsriwon

Sound Design: Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr

Original Music: Wuttipong Leetrakul

Country of production: Thailand

Year: 2016

Running time: 106 mins

Language: Thai + English subtitles



Blackstairs Film Society: 29 Dec 2017



London Film Festival – 14 & 15 Oct 2016

London East Asia Film Festival – 26 Oct 2016

Borderlines Film Festival – 3 Mar 2017

Wales One World Film Festival – 17 & 25 Mar 2017

Belfast Film Festival – 31 Mar 2017

London – ICA: 13 Jun 2017 – special preview + talk by May Adadol Ingawanij (University of Westminster) – supported by the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster

London – ICA: 14 Jun 2017 – special preview

Dublin – Irish Film Institute: 16-22 Jun 2017

London – SOAS (Reframing the Archive conference): 23 Jun 2017

London – ICA: 23/25/29/30 Jun & 2/7/9/13 Jul 2017

Bristol – The Cube: 26-27 Jun 2017

London – Deptford Cinema: 29 Jun 2017 / 24 Aug 2017

Glasgow Film Theatre: 30 Jun-2 Jul 2017

London – Genesis Cinema: 6 Jul 2017

Halifax: Square Chapel Arts Centre: 11-12 Jul 2017

Manchester – HOME: 17 Jul 2017

Edinburgh – Filmhouse: 19-20 Jul 2017

Oxford – The Ultimate Picture Palace: 23 & 26 Jul 2017

Inverness – Eden Court Theatre: 1 & 4 Sep 2017

London – Deptford Cinema: 20 Nov 2017

Cardigan – Theatr Mwldan: 26 Nov 2017

Broadstairs – Palace Cinema: 28 Nov 2017