Cemetery of Splendour Rak ti Khon Kaen

Apichatpong Weerasethakul / Thailand / 2015 / 122 min


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Soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school. The memory­filled space becomes a revelatory world for housewife and volunteer Jenjira, as she watches over Itt, a handsome soldier with no family visitors. Jen befriends young medium Keng who uses her psychic powers to help loved ones communicate with the comatose men. Doctors explore ways, including coloured light therapy, to ease the men’s troubled dreams. Jen discovers Itt’s cryptic notebook of strange writings and blueprint sketches. There may be a connection between the soldiers’ enigmatic syndrome and the mythic ancient site that lies beneath the clinic. Magic, healing, romance and dreams are all part of Jen’s tender path to a deeper awareness of herself and the world around her.

In his signature meditative style Apichatpong Weerasethakul is pondering on time, memory, consciousness and different aspects of human mind. 

"There was a news story three years ago about a hospital in the north, where there was a mysterious disease that forced the hospital to quarantine 40 soldiers. I merged the image of the soldiers together with my hospital and my school in Khon Kaen. Over those three years, the political situation in Thailand had come to a dead end (up to the present actually). I was fascinated with sleeping and jotted down my dreams. I think it is a way to escape the terrible situations in the streets." (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Born in 1970 in Bangkok, Thailand. Initially involved in short­length films and videos, Weerasethakul’s artistic projects and feature films have won numerous awards; e.g. Blissfully Yours received the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2002 Cannes IFF, Tropical Malady won the Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes IFF, and in 2010 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was bestowed the highest award, Palm d’Or.

filmography (selection)
2002 Sud sanaeha (Blissfully Yours)
2003 Hua jai ra nong (The Adventures of Iron Pussy)
2004 Sud pralad (Tropical Malady)
2006 Sang sattawat (Syndromes and a Century)
2010 Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives)
2012 Mekong Hotel
2015 Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour)

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