Daniel Garber talks with Apichatpong Weerasathakul about Cemetery of Splendour at #TIFF15
Hi, this is Daniel Garber at the Movies for culturalmining.com and CIUT 89.5 FM.
It’s present-day Northern Thailand, near the Lao border. Thai soldiers digging up the grounds of a school are all struck with a mysterious Tropical Malady: a sleeping sickness. Laid out in beds in a makeshift hospital on the site, they are cared for by a housewife and a young medium. By reading the soldier’s unconscious minds they discover this building was built on ruins of an ancient palace — also the site of great battles. And from the dreams of the sleeping soldier named Itt, via the medium Keng, Jen is guided through an invisible palace and a splendid cemetery.
Cemetery of Splendour is the latest film by master Thai Director Apichatpong Weerasathakul and it’s his funniest and greatest movie so far. It’s also his most accessible. It is filled with strange images — like glowing sticks intruding in people’s thoughts, an invisible palace, and goddesses who still wander their ancestral realms. It’s also a trenchant criticism of contemporary Thailand, which is currently under military rule. I spoke with Apichatpong Weerasathakul on site at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Cemetery of Splendour opens today (March 11th, 2016) in Toronto.
Photo by Jeff Harris