Soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school. The memory-filled 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 colored light therapy, to ease the mens’ 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.
Cemetery of Splendour (Thai: Rak Ti Khon Kaen) is a 2015 Thai drama film directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The plot revolves around a spreading epidemic of sleeping sickness. Spirits appear to the stricken and hallucination becomes indistinguishable from reality. The epidemic is used as a metaphor for personal and Thai societal issues.It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It has been selected to be shown in the Masters section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and will have its US premier at the 2015 New York Film Festival
Cemetery Of Splendour was ranked 5th in the Sight & Sound 20 best films of 2015, and Cahiers du Cinema’s Top Ten List of 2015 placed it 2nd
Tells of a lonesome middle-age housewife who tends a soldier with sleeping sickness and falls into a hallucination that triggers strange dreams, phantoms, and romance.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul (b. 1970, Bangkok) grew up in Khon Kaen, a city in the north east of Thailand. He has a degree in Architecture from Khon Kaen University and a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been making films and videos since the early 90s. He is one of the few filmmakers in Thailand who have worked outside the strict Thai studio system. In his films, he experiments with certain elements found in the dramatic plot structure of Thai television and radio programs, comics and old films. He finds his inspiration in small towns around the country. In his work, he often uses non-professional actors and improvised dialogue in exploring the shifting boundaries between documentary and fiction.
In 2000, he completed his first feature, Mysterious Object at Noon (2000), a documentary that has been screened at many international festivals and received enthusiastic reviews and awards as well as being listed among the best films of the year 2000 by Film Comment and the Village Voice. He is active in promoting experimental and independent films through Kick the Machine, the company he founded in 1999. He is currently working on several video projects and a new feature, Tropical Malady