Cemetery of Splendour
The poetic, meditative new film from Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul (whose Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the Palme d’Or in 2010), Cemetery of Splendour screened to great acclaim at Cannes and LFF last year.
The film revolves around a mysterious sleeping sickness. Soldiers afflicted by it are stationed in a temporary clinic in a former school, and nursed by volunteers including Jenjira, who becomes profoundly affected by the memory-filled space.
While doctors explore various ways of easing the men’s troubled dreams, and young medium Keng helps visitors communicate psychically with their comatose loved ones, Jen intuits a connection between the soldiers’ malady and the ancient, mythical site on which the clinic is built.
Hypnotic and beguiling, infused with his signature sense of mysticism and the spiritual, Weerasethakul’s sublimely beautiful film is about the living ghosts – symbolised by the soldiers’ plight – that populate Thai history and consciousness.
“With the follow-up to his Palme d’Or winner, Apichatpong Weerasethakul drifts off into another world that teasingly blends the spiritual and the mundane” **** Peter Bradshaw, Guardian