Apichatpong Weerasethakul – director – Cemetery of Splendour
Chiara Nicoletti welcomes director Apichatpong Weerasethakul to FRED Film Radio once again (we met him first at the Festival de Cannes in 2012, where he appeared to present his film Megong Hotel). This time, we interview him about his new film Cemetery of Splendor, screening at the 68th Festival de Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section.
For this film, Weerasethakul went back to his own hometown of Khon Kaen, in which he set this dreamlike story about soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness being taken care of in a temporary clinic in a former school.
Cemetery of Splendor will lead the audience in a limbo state of mind where reality and dreams mix and blend in.
CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR (Rak ti Khon Kaen): 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 coloured 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.