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Cemetery of Splendour 12 rating

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s imaginative, sensuous and enigmatic film about soldiers suffering from a mysterious sleeping sickness.

Drama 2016 120 mins

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul


Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s first feature since Palme d’or-winner Uncle Boonmee... is as imaginative, sensuous and enigmatic as anything the Thai artist has made. Set in and around a temporary clinic set up for a group of soldiers afflicted by a mysterious sleeping sickness, the film centres on two women volunteers who befriend each other: Keng, a medium helping visitors to communicate with their loved ones, and Jenjira, who develops a particular interest in a patient whose secret notebook she finds.

Might the narcolepsy be somehow linked to a local burial ground? Typically witty, lyrical and languorous, not to mention inflected with political undertones (that disease is doubtless metaphorical), Apichatpong’s gentle meditation on memory, myth, magic, history and the mesmerising power of dreams is seductively strange and serene.