BANGKOK — A movie hailed by critics as best film of the year was banned from screening this evening on the 41st anniversary of the 1976 Thammasat University massacre.
“By the Time It Gets Dark,” which won numerous top industry honors, was not shown on the order of the authorities this evening in the Doc Club Theatre located in the new Warehouse 30 creative space, theatre owner Thida Plitpholkarnpim announced two hours before it was to show.
“Don’t ask for the reason,” she wrote in reply to a comment on her announcement on Facebook. “They misunderstood the story of the film. They couldn’t even remember the name of [tonight’s] activity.”
Thida could not be immediately reached for comment.
Known in Thai as “Dao Khanong,” the indie movie tells an interwoven story of characters connected by the violence of Oct. 6, 1976, when dozens of student protesters were murdered by state and paramilitary forces.
It was already screened nationwide and received Best Picture nods at both the National Film Association Awards, aka the Subannahongsa (Golden Swan) Awards, and the Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards.
It was nominated to be Thailand’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards this coming March.
Today, on the anniversary of the Oct. 6, 1976, massacre, the film was to be shown along with a discussion by two well-known film critics.
Dao Khanong was also scheduled to show today at the Thai Film Archive theater and Thammasat University.
There were no reports of interference at either screening in academic settings, but the Warehouse 30 location would have been the highest profile of the three.