Cemetery of Splendour, a feature film by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

artemis projects

We spend approximately one third of our human existence sleeping (and dreaming). Cinema, with its ability to express itself through word and images, with its ability to manipulate time and space, is perhaps most true to itself when it adopts the qualities of dream. At least this is what I feel whenever I watch an Apichatpong film. It is the feeling that cinema comes into contact with itself, over and over again. Cemetery of Splendour (2015), screening as part of the 62nd Sydney Film Festival, is fortunately no exception.

Jenjira, an elderly housewife, is a volunteer at a makeshift hospital in Khon Kaen, a small town (incidentally where Apichatpong grew up) in Isan Province, Thailand . There she tends to Itt, one of a number of male soldiers who have succumbed to a mysterious sleeping illness. The ward of sleeping soldiers, in the hands of Apichatpong, becomes a place of transcendent splendour…

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