Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul has seen his acclaim in the international film community rise steadily since his feature filmmaking debut in 2000, winning awards for a filmography that includes Sud Malad, aka Tropical Malady, Sang Sattawat, aka Syndromes and a Century, and Sud Sanaeha, aka Blissfully Yours. This culminated in Weerasethakul winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 for Loong Boonmee raleuk chat, aka Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Having not made a feature film since 2012, Weeresathakul emerged once again at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year with a brand new feature. Titled Rak ti Khon Kaen, or Cemetery of Splendour, the film’s synopsis is as follows.
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.
An American or Canadian release date has yet to be announced for the film, but an international trailer has been released ahead of the film’s theatrical release in France. The trailer can be seen below.