Thailand, 2021, 69′
Four friends in their mid-twenties go to Kanchanaburi, west of Thailand, on a trip. They visit the World War II memorial site of the ‘Death Railway’, built to honor tens of thousands war prisoners who lost their lives here. At night, back at the raft house, they are drinking, smoking weed, and talking randomly. Once in a while, someone would act out a scene from a play – it turns out they are all actors in the same theatre company. Running parallel to this narrative is the story of another woman who finds herself alone in the middle of the forest after her friend mysteriously disappears.
She 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; Cinema Moderne, Montreal; and Olhar De Cinema, Brazil. By the Time It Gets Dark, Anocha’s second feature, centres around a student massacre that took place in 1976 by Thai state forces and far-right paramilitaries at Thammasat University in Bangkok. It premiered at Locarno Film Festival and was presented at festivals worldwide, including Toronto, BFI London, Viennale, and Rotterdam. By the Time It Gets Dark film won three Thailand National Film Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.