Fireworks (Archives) is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s offering to the potent spirits of his home region, shot in the sculpture park of a little-known nonconformist temple in the northeast of Thailand.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Mexico, Thailand
Thu 19/09
7 mins
Bankhill Ice House

Two figures silently cross the frame in a nocturnal site filled with stone animals. Flashes of light radiate from the screen then fold back into the dense darkness, while an archival photograph shows a revolutionary whose last words prior to his execution were 'dictatorship shall fall, democracy shall prevail'. This place, Weerasethakul says, is a manifestation of revolt. Free at heart, but forced to struggle, and to dream.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Working in the space between cinema and contemporary art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (1970, Bangkok) creates installations, videos, short and feature films that are often non-linear and transmit a strong sense of dislocation and otherworldliness. Through the manipulation of time and light, Weerasethakul constructs tenuous bridges for the viewer to travel between the real and the mythical, the individual and the collective, the corporeal and the chimeric. Over the years, the majority of his projects have involved many of the same actors, which has allowed him to capture different phases in their lives and their experience of ageing. Frequently set in rural Thai villages and forests, his films traverse an extremely personal territory, inviting the viewer to enter the subjective world of memory, myth, and deep yearning. By using unconventional narrative structures, expanding and contracting the sensation of time, and playing with ideas of veracity and linearity: Weerasethakul’s work sits comfortably in a world of his own making.

Weerasethakul earned his BA in architecture from Khon Kaen University in Thailand and his MFA in Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1999, he co-founded Kick the Machine Films, a company that has produced many of his own films as well as other experimental Thai films and videos that could not find support under the established Thai film industry. His art projects and feature films have won him widespread recognition and numerous festival prizes, including three from the Cannes Film Festival: A Certain Regard for Blissfully Yours in 2002, Prix du Jury for Tropical Malady in 2004, and Palme d'Or for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in 2010.


async–first light (2017), 2017 (2017), Ablaze (2016), Invisibility (2016), Fan Dog (2016), Fever Room (2015), Vapour (2015), Cemetery of Splendour (2015), Rolling (2015), Fireworks (Archives) (2014), Footprints (2014), La Punta (2013), Dilbar (2013), The Importance of Telepathy (2012), Cactus River (2012), Mekong Hotel (2012), Ashes (2012), Sakda (Rousseau) (2012), Trailer for CinDi (2011), M Hotel (2011), Monsoon (2011), Empire (2010), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (2009), Primitive (2009), Phantoms of Nabua (2009), Haiku (2009), An Evening Shoot (2009), Nabuda Song (2009), I'm Still Breathing (2009), A Dedicated Machine (2009), Making of the Spaceship (2009), Mobile Men (2008), Vampire (2008), Prosperity for 2008 (2008), Luminous People (2007), Meteorites (2007), Emerald (2007), My Mother's Garden (2007), The Palace (2007), Unknown Forces (2007), Because (2007), Teem (2007), Syndromes and a Century (2006), The Anthem (2006), Faith (2006), Waterfall (2006), Ghost of Asia (2005), Worldly Desires (2005), Tropical Malady (2004), It Is Possible That Only Your Heart Is Not Enough to Find You a True Love: True Love in Green / True Love in White (2004), GRAF: Tong / Love Song / Tone (2004), This and Million More Lights (2003), Nokia Short (2003), The Adventure of Iron Pussy (2003), Blissfully Yours (2002), Second Love in Hong Kong (2002), Golden Ship (2002), Haunted Houses (2001), Narratives: Masumi Is a PC Operator / Fumiyo Is a Designer / I Was Sketching / Swan's Blood (2001), Secret Love Affair (for Tirana) (2001), Mysterious Object at Noon (2000), Boys at Noon (2000), Boys at Noon / Girls at Night (2000), Malee and the Boy (1999), Windows (1999), The Lungara Eating Jell-O (1998), thirdworld (Goh Gayasit) (1997), 100 Years of Thai Cinema (1997), Rice Artist Michael Shaowanasai's Performance (1997), Like the Relentless Fury of the Pounding Waves (1994), Kitchen and Bedroom (1994), 0116643225059 (1994), Bullet (1993)