Cemetery of Splendour

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Cemetery of Splendour
Cemetery of Splendour (poster).jpg
Film poster
Directed byApichatpong Weerasethakul
Produced byApichatpong Weerasethakul
Keith Griffiths
Simon Field
Charles de Meaux
Michael Weber
Hans W. Geißendörfer
Written byApichatpong Weerasethakul
StarringJenjira Pongpas Widner
Banlop Lomnoi
Jarinpattra Rueangram
CinematographyDiego García
Edited byLee Chatametikool
Kick the Machine Films
Illuminations Films (Past Lives)
Release date
  • 18 May 2015 (2015-05-18) (Cannes)
Running time
122 minutes
Box office$83,250[1]

Cemetery of Splendour (Thai: Rak Ti Khon Kaen) is a 2015 Thai drama film written, produced, and directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The plot revolves around a spreading epidemic of sleeping sickness where spirits appear to the stricken and hallucination becomes indistinguishable from reality. The epidemic is used as a metaphor for personal and Thai societal issues.[2]

The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim.[3][4]


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 men's 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.


  • Banlop Lomnoi as Itt
  • Jenjira Pongpas as Jenjira
  • Jarinpattra Rueangram as Keng
  • Petcharat Chaiburi as Nurse Tet


Cemetery of Splendour premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section.[3][4]


Critical response[edit]

Cemetery of Splendour has received universal acclaim from critics.[5] On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 97% approval rating based on 71 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10. The site's consensus reads, "Cemetery of Splendour gracefully eludes efforts to pin down its meaning while offering patient viewers another gently hypnotic wonder from writer/director Apichatpong Weerasethakul."[6] On Metacritic, the film currently has a weighted average score of 87/100 based on 17 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[5]

Year-end lists[edit]

Cemetery of Splendour was ranked 5th in the Sight & Sound 20 best films of 2015,[7] and 2nd in the Cahiers du Cinema 's 2015 Top Ten chart.[8]


List of accolades
Award / Film festival Category Recipient(s) Result
Asia Pacific Screen Awards[9] Best Film Apichatpong Weerasethakul Won
Achievement in Directing Apichatpong Weerasethakul Nominated
2015 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard Award Apichatpong Weerasethakul Nominated
2016 International Cinephile Society Awards ICS Award Apichatpong Weerasethakul Won
2015 London Film Festival Best Film Apichatpong Weerasethakul Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards 2015 Best Non-U.S. Release Apichatpong Weerasethakul Won
2015 Pancevo Film Festival Lighthouse Award Apichatpong Weerasethakul Won
2015 Catalan International Film Festival Best Motion Picture Apichatpong Weerasethakul Nominated


  1. ^ "Cemetery of Splendour". The Numbers. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  2. ^ Justin Chang. "'Cemetery of Splendor' Review: Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Latest Enigma - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Complement to the Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. 23 April 2015. Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Screenings Guide". Festival de Cannes. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Cemetery of Splendor". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Cemetery of Splendor". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  7. ^ "The 20 best films of 2015". British Film Institute. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Top Ten 2015, Décembre 2015 n°717". cahiersducinema.net. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  9. ^ Patrick Frater. "'Cemetery of Splendour' Wins Asia Pacific Screen Awards Trophy". Variety. Retrieved 25 October 2018.

External links[edit]