23 December 2021

Wisit Sasanatieng

Tears of the Black Tiger

The Thai Film Archive will show a complete retrospective of Wisit Sasanatieng’s films next month. The season includes rare 35mm screenings of his classic Tears of the Black Tiger (ฟ้าทะลายโจร), marking the twentieth anniversary of one of the key films of the Thai New Wave. (Tears of the Black Tiger has been shown quite frequently over the years—at Alliance Française in 2020, at BKKSR in 2017, at TCDC in 2016, at BACC in 2012, and at the Film Archive in 2013 and 2009—though I last saw it in 35mm at Warwick Arts Centre on its original UK theatrical release.)

Each of Wisit’s films will be screened twice in January 2022: Tears of the Black Tiger on 15th and 22nd, Citizen Dog (หมานคร) on 22nd and 28th, The Unseeable (เปนชู้กับผี) on 11th and 28th, The Red Eagle (อินทรีแดง) and Senior (รุ่นพี่) on 5th and 19th, and Reside (สิงสู่) on 11th and 30th. All screenings are free. The season was originally scheduled for May this year, though it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Film Archive also held a smaller-scale Wisit retrospective in 2010.

Wisit’s latest film, The Whole Truth (ปริศนารูหลอน), premiered on Netflix earlier this month. He has previously directed the short film Norasinghavatar (นรสิงหาวตาร), the music video เราเป็นคนไทย (‘we are Thai’), and segments of the portmanteau films Sawasdee Bangkok (สวัสดีบางกอก) and Ten Years Thailand. He also wrote the scripts for Slice (เฉือน), Nang Nak (นางนาก), and Dang Bireley’s and Young Gangsters [sic] (2499 อันธพาลครองเมือง); and he designed the posters for the 2008 and 2009 Bangkok International Film Festivals.