Strand Releasing has acquired US rights to Apitchatpong Weerasethakul’s Un Certain Regard premiere “Cemetery of Splendour.” This drama marks his first feature since Cannes 2012 special screening “Mekong Hotel.” In 2010, he won the Palme d’Or for “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” when Tim Burton was president of the jury. (Watch “Cemetery of Splendour” clips below.)
Here’s the synopsis:
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.
A lot of Weerasethaku stalwarts are here, including Jenjira Pongpas (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall Past Lives”) and Banlop Lomnoi (“Tropical Malady”). “With the follow-up to his Palme d’Or winner, Apichatpong Weerasethakul drifts off into another world that teasingly blends the spiritual and the mundane,” reads The Guardian’s Cannes review. Stateside release date forthcoming.