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June 16–22, 2017

Chicago Premiere

By the Time It Gets Dark
(Dao khanong)

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Film still: By the Time It Gets Dark Film still: By the Time It Gets Dark Film still: By the Time It Gets Dark


Best Picture
Best Director
Best Editing
Thailand National
Film Assoc.
"A magical, melancholic ode to the intellectual's struggle against the forces of history... A demanding but ultimately rewarding piece"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"The film's textures and syntax are so strange and alluring that [Anocha] Suwichakornpong's film becomes far more than the sum of its disparate parts"
  —Film Comment
"Her second feature has the exploratory, fragmented quality of a modern koan... A film, a rather gorgeous one, of glances and ephemera and delicate metaphors"
  —Village Voice
3 stars½
  —Slant Magazine
4 stars "Fascinating, enigmatic... an engrossingly strange, confident leap down the conceptual rabbit hole, and a very accomplished piece of film-making"
  —The Guardian

By the Time It Gets Dark bravely tackles a subject long taboo for Thai artists and writers: the Thammasat University Massacre of 1976, in which a still-unconfirmed number of protesting students were brutally murdered by the military. Rather than a head-on confrontation with this horrific tragedy, By the Time It Gets Dark takes a more nuanced and digressive path, interweaving the seemingly disconnected stories of a filmmaker researching the massacre together with those of a young pop star and a melancholy maid who drifts enigmatically throughout the film. What unites these different characters, filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong (Mundane History) seems to suggest, is the still-pulsing trauma of history that has been denied yet not forgotten.

Drifting across a dizzyingly wide expanse of space and time, By the Time It Gets Dark offers a series of narratives concerning love, longing, the power of cinema, and the vestiges of the past within the present. Asking quietly profound questions about the nature of memory—personal, political, and cinematic—this self-reflexive yet deeply felt film keeps regenerating and unfolding in surprising ways, craftily revealing how their lives are interconnected through a decades-spanning tale of a country with a tormented past.

Directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong, France/Netherlands/Qatar/Thailand, 2016, 105 mins. In Thai with English subtitles.


  • Fri., June 16 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., June 17 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., June 18 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., June 19–22 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation